Washington out shot Carolina 13-8 in the first period, despite some intense pressure on goal by Carolina early in the first period. Nicklas Backstrom (8) struck for his first of two goals on the night at the 13:08 mark to give the Caps a 1-0 lead. The Backstrom goal was created by a nasty wrister by Alex Ovechkin to the goal, while Justin Peters allowed a small rebound that Backstrom followed up on, and put through the pads of Peters.
Carolina out shot Washington 19-14 in the second period, but again, it was was Backstrom (9) who supplied the Caps with the only goal of the second period to send the Caps into the second intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Carolina then scored two straight goals in the third period to tie the game at 2-2. They came nearly 4 minutes apart the first coming from Sergei Samsonov, his 5th of the season, at the 4:04 mark. Four minutes and one second later, Eric Staal would score his tenth of the season and knot the game at 2-2. Brooks Laich (6) would score the game winner a little over the 12 minute mark to lift the Caps to a 3-2 win. The Laich goal came off a booming deflection from Alexander Ovechkin on the Caps power play. Ovechkin figured into all the Caps scoring tonight, adding 3 assists.
The main story tonight was the return to net of Caps goalies Semyon Varlamov. Varly made his last Caps start on Ocotber 21st, before succumbing to a groin injury. He only made two start on the season. Tonight, Varly was on the game, in his Capitals return. Varly stopped 30 f 32 shots and and made some really tough saves to help propel the Caps out of a a three game slide. Let the official battle begin -- Varlamov v. Nuevirth.
Projected winner --- the Washington Capitals.
Nicklas Backstrom, 2 goals
Alex Ovechkin, 3 assists
DCPSR Player of the Game:
Nicklas Backstrom, 2 goals and Semyon Varlamov, stopping 30 of 32 for the win