Hurricanes storm past Ovechkin’s Capitals to force Game 7
|Toronto Star 22 Apr 2019 at 23:42|
RALEIGH, N.C.—Jordan Staal scored the go-ahead goal and added an assist in the third period, helping the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 on Monday night to force Game 7 in their first-round Stanley Cup playoff series.
Justin Williams scored an insurance goal seconds after the Capitals had the potential tying goal disallowed. Warren Foegele and Teuvo Teravainen also scored, Dougie Hamilton added an empty-netter and Petr Mrazek made 23 saves.
Jordan Staal, right, celebrates his go-ahead goal with Justin Faulk and Justin Williams in the Hurricanes’ 5-2 win over the Capitals in Game 6 of their first-round playoff series in Raleigh on Monday night. (Gerry Broome / AP)
The Hurricanes scored three third-period goals in bouncing back from a 6-0 beatdown in Game 5 and prolonging their first playoff appearance in a decade — by one game, at least.
Game 7 is Wednesday night in Washington. The winner will play the New York Islanders in the second round.
Alex Ovechkin scored for the third straight game, while Brett Connolly also scored and Braden Holtby stopped 31 shots.
Washington — which won 10 road games a year ago on the way to the first Stanley Cup title in club history — went 0-3 on the road in this series after winning both regular-season meetings in Raleigh.
Carolina forward Andrei Svechnikov, out with a concussion suffered in a fight with Ovechkin, skated earlier in the day but didn’t play.
Staal gave the Hurricanes their first lead of the game at 3:51 of the third period, following a scramble in front of Holtby. Justin Faulk uncorked a shot from the point and Brock McGinn and Staal both poked at it, with Staal ultimately slipping it past the Capitals goalie to make it 3-2.
Then came the key momentum swing of this one — the waved-off goal that Washington thought should have counted.
As Evgeny Kuznetsov tried to tuck the puck under Mrazek’s pads with 9:26 remaining, Ovechkin crashed into the goalie. The officials waved it off, ruling that the Capitals’ captain interfered with Mrazek by pushing his pad.
Williams then put Carolina up by two goals 84 seconds later by tipping Brett Pesce’s shot past Holtby, and Hamilton extended the lead with his empty-netter with 3:06 left.
By that point, the Capitals’ frustrations hit their breaking point, with Ovechkin receiving a slashing penalty and a game misconduct with 1:08 remaining.
It helped the Hurricanes that they got a bit healthier, with one of the three forwards injured during this series returning to the lineup. Jordan Martinook was back after a lower-body injury kept him out of Game 5. Martinook left Game 4 early after his right heel slammed into the boards as he attempted a hit on Dmitry Orlov.
Another theme of the series was upended: At no point during the first five games did the road team ever lead. Connolly ended that pesky bit of trivia early in this one by scoring at 5:06 of the first.
And Ovechkin’s fourth goal of the series — and his third in three games — put the Capitals up 2-1 with 4:48 left in the first when he waited for Jaccob Slavin to slide past him, then beat Mrazek from a tough stick-side angle.
But they didn’t score again — and the Hurricanes kept pushing back.
First, Foegele made it 1-all when he beat Holtby with a spinning shot from the slot with 9:25 left in the first, giving him four goals in three home games in the series. He’s the second player in club history with four home goals in a series, joining Mark Hunter — who did it with the Whalers against Boston in 1991.
And Teravainen pulled Carolina to 2-2 at 1:56 of the second. Sebastian Aho swiped the puck from Jonas Siegenthaler behind the net and passed to Teravainen in the slot.