Washington
Capitals
28-40-14
Carolina
Hurricanes
40-34-8

20 SOG
39 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
WSH
CAR
game recap

Hurricanes 5, Capitals 0

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:17 AM

Associated Press

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -First, Cam Ward won the Conn Smythe Trophy. Then, he posted his first regular-season shutout.

Carolina's star goalie seemingly is reaching his career goals in reverse order, and Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette doesn't seem to mind.

Ward stopped 20 shots and Erik Cole scored three goals to lead the Hurricanes to a 5-0 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

"Working backwards a little bit," Laviolette said. "But that's OK. We're happy with the order."

Eric Staal and Trevor Letowski also scored, and Scott Walker had two assists for Carolina.

Ward, the MVP of the Hurricanes' run to the Stanley Cup title last season, had two shutouts in the 2006 playoffs.

In the best regular-season performance of his career, Ward said he picked up momentum midway through the second period when the Hurricanes, leading 1-0, killed off Washington's two-man advantage, which lasted 2:18, and went on to a lopsided win.

"Up until that 5-on-3, I didn't see a whole lot of shots," Ward said. "It can really change the momentum of a game if you kill that off."

Cole kept the pressure on Capitals goalie Brent Johnson, recording his fourth career hat trick and first since an 8-2 win over Montreal on Jan. 31, 2006.

It also was his first multigoal game since March 4 against Pittsburgh, but that's a game Cole probably would rather forget. Later in that one, he was run over from behind by Brooks Orpik, breaking his neck in an injury that cost Cole three months.

"I felt like I was just racing up and down the ice" in the first period, Cole said. "As the game went on, I kind of slowed down a bit and tried to make more plays rather than sprint up the ice. Pucks were going in the net."

The Hurricanes scored on their first shot on goal when Walker burst down the right side on a 2-on-2 rush and passed to Cole, who tapped the puck past Johnson at 5:47 of the first period.

"We spotted them a goal we shouldn't have, and then we had to battle back," Washington forward Chris Clark said.

Cole added his second goal on the power play with just under 2 minutes left in the second period. Staal took a pass from Bret Hedican beyond the right circle and blasted a shot that struck Cole and got past Johnson.

Cole completed the hat trick when his short backhand beat Johnson at 14:39 of the third period for his sixth goal of the season.

"On any given night, it's somebody who chips in and helps out for us," Laviolette said. "Tonight, Colesy was the guy who scored the goals."

Johnson finished with 34 saves for the Capitals, who had their first two-game winning streak of the season snapped.

"From our standpoint, I think we'll look back at this night as a good night as far as our progress is concerned," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "With the exception of (Johnson), because I know how it is to have goals scored on you, this is a lot better for us to lose this game 5-0 than for (Johnson) to make four more incredible saves and walk out of here kidding ourselves that it was a 1-0 hockey game."

Staal and Letowski gave the Hurricanes some breathing room by scoring three minutes apart midway through the third period. It was Staal's team-leading 10th goal of the season.

The Hurricanes, one of the NHL's best teams on home ice last season, were just happy to see some familiar surroundings. They spent most of the season's first month on the road and played only their sixth game at the RBC Center, where they improved to 3-2-1.

They kept Washington's offense in check. The Capitals went nearly 15 minutes between shots on goal during a stretch in the first and second periods, and Carolina finished with 39 shots to the Capitals' 20.

"We didn't move," said Washington's Alex Ovechkin, whose scoring streak was snapped at four games. "We didn't control the puck."

Notes: Cole has recorded points in three straight games. ... Before the game, the Capitals recalled D John Erskine from their American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey. He logged nearly 17 minutes of ice time. ... The Capitals ended their three-game winless streak against Carolina when they won 5-2 on Oct. 7 in the only previous meeting of the season. ... Carolina D Tim Gleason (shoulder) missed his fifth straight game. D David Tanabe was a healthy scratch. Scratches for Washington were defenseman Jamie Heward and centers Brooks Laich and Kris Beech.

scoring summary
1st Period
05:47
CAR
Erik Cole (4) Tip-in - ASST: Scott Walker (5), Niclas Wallin (3)
1 - 0 CAR
2nd Period
18:03
CAR
PPG - Erik Cole (5) Tip-in - ASST: Eric Staal (9), Bret Hedican (3)
2 - 0 CAR
3rd Period
08:46
CAR
Eric Staal (10) Snap shot - ASST: Scott Walker (6), Glen Wesley (1)
3 - 0 CAR
11:46
CAR
Trevor Letowski (1) Wrist shot - ASST: Andrew Ladd (2)
4 - 0 CAR
14:39
CAR
Erik Cole (6) Backhand shot - ASST: Ray Whitney (16), Rod Brind'Amour (16)
5 - 0 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
02:37
CAR
Trevor Letowski  Hooking against  Brian Sutherby
09:26
WSH
Donald Brashear  Hooking against  Glen Wesley
11:03
WSH
Shaone Morrisonn  Holding against  Justin Williams
14:43
WSH
Alexander Semin  Hooking against  Ray Whitney
2nd Period
07:33
CAR
Glen Wesley  Tripping against  Alexander Semin
08:18
CAR
Chad LaRose  Hooking against  Dainius Zubrus
08:45
CAR
Niclas Wallin  Cross checking against  Alexander Semin
11:18
WSH
Mike Green  Hooking against  Justin Williams
17:07
WSH
Mike Green  Hooking against  Ray Whitney
18:13
WSH
John Erskine  Interference against  Trevor Letowski
3rd Period
19:39
WSH
Brent Johnson  Tripping against  Chad LaRose
goalie stats
Brent Johnson
SA: 39TOI: 60:00
Saves: 34EV: 27 - 31
PIM: 2PP: 7 - 8
SV%: .872SH: 0 - 0
Cam Ward
Cam Ward
SA: 20TOI: 59:51
Saves: 20EV: 15 - 15
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: 1.000SH: 1 - 1