A back and forth game between the Canes and Caps ended in a 4-2 victory for the Washington Capitals. Nicklas Backstrom and Philipp Grubauer were the true difference makers in tonight’s game. Nicklas Backstrom registered a four assist night, and Phillipp Grubauer found himself making stop after stop to give his team an important win.
In the first five minuets everything was going Carolina’s way. With two breakaways and five SOG in the first three minuets, it almost felt as if the Capitals were going to drop an egg. Philipp Grubauer went to work quickly stonewalling multiple Hurricane breakaways. Then with only two minuets left in the first period Caroline scored the first goal of the night. Jordan Staal would release a quick wrist shot assisted by Sasha Semin, and Faulk to give Carolina a 1-0 lead with only 2:02 left in the first period. Eric Staal, with only 15 seconds left in period one, was lazy with his stick. Staal hit Eric Fehr in the face, and a high sticking penalty was called.
The Capitals started the second period fast with the man advantage. Quickly entering the offensive zone, Marcus Johansson received a pass from Backstrom. Johansson would tuck in the puck on an impossible angle tying everything up at 1-1 with 19:28 in the second.
Offensive zone pressure by the Capitals led to an interference call against Carolina. Washington was on the man advantage yet again with 15:06 in the period. It wouldn’t take long for John Carlson to snap a bullet from the point pass Cam ward to give Washington a 2-1 lead, their first of the night. The lead lasted only three minutes when Riley Nash wristed one past Philipp Grubauer to knot things back up at 2-2. However the score wouldn’t stay all tied up for long. Four minuets later a weird shot from Mike Green hit Troy Brouwer’s stick to awkwardly fall past Cam Ward. The goal gave Washington all they would need as they went up 3-2.
Phillipp Grubauer played lights out for his team stopping 39 out of 41 shots, four of them coming on breakaways. But the night wasn’t over. As time trickled down Alex Ovechkin received a perfect pass from Backstrom. Ovechkin buried the empty net goal to not only seal the deal but to give himself his 400th career goal. Alex became the 6th fastest player in NHL history to score 400 goals. It took him 634 games and 2,968 days. He scored his first goal on October 5th, 2005. Congrats Ovi!