December 28, 2018 / 3:04 AM / 2 months ago

Surging Capitals handle Hurricanes

EditorsNote: Moved Ovechkin info to end

John Carlson finished with a goal and an assist, and Braden Holtby made 28 saves as the Washington Capitals defeated the visiting Carolina Hurricanes 3-1 Thursday night.

The Capitals now have won three straight and eight of their past nine. The Hurricanes lost for the third time in four games.

Chandler Stephenson and T.J. Oshie scored the other two Washington goals, both of which came in the second period.

Holtby has been strong lately. This victory improved the veteran to 5-1-0 in his past six games. He made 36 saves last Friday in a 2-1 home victory over the Buffalo Sabres, his most recent game before Thursday.

The Capitals came up with numerous scoring chances in the first period, outshooting Carolina 16-8, but they could not score until early in the second frame.

Washington took a 1-0 lead 3:33 into the middle period thanks to some help from Carolina. Calvin de Haan turned the puck over deep in the Hurricanes’ zone, and Stephenson pounced on it and beat Petr Mrazek (30 saves) on a high shot from the right circle.

The Capitals made it 2-0 on an Oshie power-play goal with 1:44 left in the second period.

Carlson set up near the blue line and fired a bullet heading toward the goal, but Oshie got his stick on it from in front and deflected the puck in. The Capitals had been just 3-for-31 recently on the power play.

Alex Ovechkin got the other assist on the play.

The Hurricanes cut the lead in half when Sebastian Aho scored with 7:35 left in the third period, but Carlson locked up the win with an empty-net goal in the final minute. Nicklas Backstrom earned his 32nd assist of the season on the clinching play.

Washington announced earlier in the day that Ovechkin was named the Metropolitan Division captain for the NHL All-Star Game, set for Jan. 26 in San Jose. This is the second straight year he earned that honor, which came after a fan vote.

—Field Level Media

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