Point Taken – For the third time in the five times the Caps and Canes have hooked up this season, Thursday’s game required more than 60 minutes to settle. For the first of those three times, it was the Hurricanes that came away with a pair of points.
Washington took a 2-1 lead into the third period, but a Brett Carson point shot and a Chad Larose breakaway goal gave Carolina a late lead of its own. It took Eric Fehr’s goal in the waning seconds with Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov off for an extra attacker to earn Washington its 104th point of the season (47-14-10).
A Ray Whitney slapper in the extra session squirted through Varlamov and into the net to lift the Hurricanes to their second win over Washington this season.
Double-Sawbuck – With his late third-period goal against the Hurricanes tonight, Fehr reached the 20-goal plateau for the first time in his NHL career. He is the Capitals’ seventh 20-goal scorer this season. Caps defenseman Mike Green (17) is eighth on the team in goals.
The seven skaters with 20 or more goals are Washington’s most since it had nine 20-goal men during the 1992-93 season.
Road Mark – With the point gained in tonight’s overtime loss, the Capitals pushed their road point total to 48 (21-10-6) on the season. Although Washington is still one road victory shy of matching the franchise’s single-season standard for road triumphs, the Caps have now established a franchise standard for most road points gained in a season.
Clean Sheet – Tonight’s game marked just the 10th time in Washington’s 71 games this season that the Capitals played a scoreless first period. It was the first time in those 10 scoreless first in which neither team was whistled for a penalty in the first frame, either.
Homecoming – For Caps defenseman Joe Corvo and right wing Scott Walker, Thursday’s game was their first in their former Carolina home barn, the RBC Center, since the March 3 trades that sent them to Washington.
Corvo skated 25:02 and had two goals on three shots for the night. Walker had three shots on goal and was plus-1 with an assist in his 9:35 of work. He drew an assist on Corvo’s first goal of the night.
Sans Captain – Tonight marked the second and final game of Alex Ovechkin’s league-mandated two-game suspension. It was the 10th game he has missed this season six because of injury and four because of suspension. The Capitals are 7-2-1 with an average of 4.7 goals per game in those 10 tilts.
Hey, 19 – Backstrom had two assists on the night, giving him 58 helpers on the season. He now has two of the top 10 single-season assist totals ever by a Capital, including his career high of 66 last season. With 87 points on the season, he is a point shy of matching his single-season career best of 88, established in 2008-09.
With an assist on Corvo’s power play goal, Backstrom tied Green for the team and league leads in power play points at 34. Backstrom finished third in the NHL with 42 power play points in 2008-09.
Multiple Men – Corvo’s two-goal game was the 50th by a Capital in the team’s 71 games this season.
Power Surge – The Capitals spent nearly the entirety of their three power play chances – all in the second period – in the attack zone, and they scored on the third of those three tries. It marks the seventh straight game in which Washington has netted at least one power play goal. The Capitals are 10-for-27 (37%) with the extra man in those seven games.
Staying Hot – Backstrom has not gone consecutive games without a point in the last 29 contests. He has totaled 14 goals and 27 assists for 41 points during that stretch.
Brooks Laich picked up an assist on Corvo’s second goal. Laich now has 24 points (13 goals, 11 assists) in his last 23 games.
Brendan Morrison has a goal and five points in his last four games. Fehr has goals in each of his last three games, and he has five goals and six points in eight games since the Olympic break.
Robbed – Caps winger Matt Bradley made a deft deflection of a Mike Green point shot to score what appeared to be a goal to give Washington a 2-0 lead in the first period. But the officials instead waived the goal off and assessed the Caps a minor penalty for too many men on the ice. The Washington coaching staff disagreed with the call.
Carolina went on the power play, and gained a two-man advantage shortly thereafter when Shaone Morrisonn was given a double-minor for high-sticking. The Canes scored on the 5-on-3 to make it 1-1. The questionable too many men call made a big difference in the game at that point, accounting for a two-goal swing in the score. The call also denied Bradley what would have been his ninth goal of the campaign, matching his single-season career best.
Milestones – With his assist on Fehr’s goal late in the third, Morrison reached the 40-point plateau for the eighth time in his NHL career and the first time since 2006-07. With his first-period assist on Corvo’s first goal of the night, Bradley recorded his 13th assist of the season. That matches his single-season personal best in helpers, set in his rookie campaign of 2001-02 when he was a member of the San Jose Sharks.
Divisional Dominance – Washington’s record against Southeast Division foes is now 16-3-1 with four games remaining. The Caps have road games remaining in Tampa Bay and Carolina and a pair of home tilts against the Atlanta Thrashers.
Powering Up – Eric Staal’s power play goal was the 72nd of his career, pushing him past Kevin Dineen for second place in extra-man tallies in Hartford/Carolina franchise history. Staal now trails only Ron Francis (132).
Happy Birthday – To former Caps’ first-rounder Jan Bulis, born on this day in 1978. And to former enforcer Brantt Myrhes, the first Capital ever to don sweater No. 74. Myrhes was born on this day in 1974. And finally to Jonas Johansson, born on this day in 1984. The lone game of Johansson’s NHL career came at Tampa Bay in the final contest of the 2005-06 campaign.
By The Numbers – With no penalties to kill and no power play chances in the game’s first 20 minutes, all 18 Washington skaters logged at least 4:26 in first-period ice time. Corvo led the Caps with 7:13 in the first period. He logged 18:30 in even-strength ice on the night to lead Washington … David Steckel led the Caps with three hits in the first period; Tuomo Ruutu paced the Canes with five. Backstrom led the Caps with four hits in the game … Tom Poti’s three blocked shots were tops on the Caps. His 5:21 in shorthanded ice time also led Washington … The Capitals missed almost as many shots (24) as they had on goal (28) for the night … Mike Green was on the ice for all 4:33 of Washington’s power play time for the night. Corvo was just behind at 4:29 … Backstrom won 12 of 16 (75%) draws on the night … With his goal late in regulation, Larose recorded his 100th career NHL point … Carolina raised its record to 2-22-4 when trailing after two periods.
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