January 4, 2020 / 3:30 AM / 21 days ago

Capitals survive third period, snap skid against Hurricanes

EditorsNote: minor edits

Jan 3, 2020; Raleigh, North Carolina, USA; Washington Capitals center Nic Dowd (26) checks Carolina Hurricanes left wing Brock McGinn (23) during the first period at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals snapped a two-game losing streak by holding off a late charge by the host Carolina Hurricanes to win 4-3 on Friday night.

Richard Panik, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Lars Eller and Jakub Vrana scored for the Capitals, who were in danger of relinquishing a three-goal third-period lead. Kuznetsov and Eller also had assists.

The Capitals were coming off consecutive losses in regulation for the first time this season and they didn’t allow the mini-slide to continue. The first of those losses was seven nights earlier to the Hurricanes in the same building.

Carolina had won four consecutive meetings with the Capitals dating to the final two games of last spring’s first-round playoff series.

Jordan Staal, Teuvo Teravainen and Ryan Dzingel scored third-period goals for the Hurricanes.

Capitals goalie Ilya Samsonov, who was facing Carolina for the first time, made 38 saves.

The Hurricanes scored 39 seconds into the third period on Staal’s conversion off Brett Pesce’s shot.

The Capitals responded 50 seconds later on Eller’s power-play goal. He banged in the puck after Alex Ovechin’s blast bounced off the boards, pretty much a clear shot into the net for Eller.

The Capitals made it 4-1 less than five minutes into the third period when Vrana scored when the Capitals were too quick with the puck in the offensive zone.

Teravainen made it interesting when he posted his first goal in 17 games with 13:25 remaining, coming on a power play. Then Dzingel’s power-play goal came with 7:25 left.

Carolina goalie Petr Mrazek stopped 25 shots.

Panik opened the scoring in the second period with a strong rush down the ice, and when Mrazek couldn’t corral the puck, it ended up in the net.

The Capitals made it 2-0 after Samsonov stopped Dougie Hamilton’s short-handed breakaway. Washington set up at the other end and converted when Kuznetsov notched his 16th goal of the season.

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That put a damper on the third consecutive sellout crowd at PNC Arena. The Hurricanes had snapped a three-game losing streak by winning in the first two-games of the seven-game homestand.

The Hurricanes outshot the Capitals 18-7 in a scoreless first period.

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