The Washington Capitals routed division rival at the RBC Center in Raleigh tonight, 5-1. The win moves the Capitals to 9-2 overall and extending their division lead to 4 points.
Carolina took the early lead with an Anthony Stewart goal at the 3:26 mark of the first period. Even though the Caps out shot the 'Canes 15-10 in the first period, it was by far an unimpressive period for the Capitals.
Washington would come out in the second period and rally for 2 goals in 69 seconds, starting with a rebound wrister from Jeff Halpern just 1:28 into the second period. It was Halpern's first marker since March 10, 2011, in the regular season. The Halpern goal was assisted by Mike Knuble and Karl Alzner. Halper's goal was followed 69 seconds later by a nifty two on one goal by Todd Brouwer from Marcus Johansson, the prettiest goal of the night. Cody Eakin, who would pick up his first ever NHL goal in just his second NHL game, added a helper on the Brouwer goal, for a two point night. The 'Canes out shot the Caps 10-8, but the Caps took a 2-1 lead into the second intermission.
The Caps came out and played an outstanding third period, stinging the 'Canes for three unanswered goals. John Carlson boomed a power play goal, fed by Nicklas Backstrom, on the Caps power play to give the Caps a 3-1 lead. It was Carlson's first goal of the season. Ovechkin picked up his first of two assist on the night. At the 10:49 mark of the final frame, Alexander Semin punched the puck away for a two one breakaway and fed rookie Cody Eakin who buried the puck home past Cam Ward for his first career NHL goal. It was a quick release, dazzling slapper for the young Eakin. The RBC Arena has been friendly to Cap youngsters, giving up John Carlson's first NHL goal on March 25, 2010. Nicklas Backstrom took the wind out of the Hurricanes at the 15:52 mark, scoring his 5th tally of the season and giving the Capitals an insurmountable 5-1 lead.
Michal Neuvirth stopped 24 of 2 shots on net to earn he win. The win improve the Capitals to 9-2 and 3-2 on the road.
Nicklas Backstrom, 1 goal, 1 assist
Cody Eakin, 1 goal, 1 assist
Alex Ovechkin, 2 assists
DCPSR Player of the Game: Cody Eakin, first NHL career goal, 2 point night
Caps Streaks (more than 2 games):
Nicklas Backstrom has a THREE game point streak.
Todd Brouwer has a THREE game point streak.
Alex Ovechkin, has a THREE game point streak