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Capitals 5, Hurricanes 2

The SportsXchange

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Washington Capitals put aside some of the disappointment from their doomed postseason possibilities and hammered the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on Thursday night at PNC Arena.

Right winger Troy Brouwer scored two goals and right winger Joel Ward, left winger Jason Chimera and right winger Eric Fehr also scored for the Capitals, who won their third game in a row.

Both teams were playing their first games since being eliminated from playoff contention.

Carolina's first goal in its home finale came on center Jiri Tlusty's short-handed effort with 2:44 left in the second period. Right winger Radek Dvorak's goal with 1:52 remaining in the game capped the scoring.

Before that, the Capitals scored twice in the first four minutes of the third period to end much doubt about the outcome.

The result guarantees that the Capitals will finish ahead of Carolina in the Metropolitan Division, though that is a small consolation. Both teams have two games remaining.

Goalie Braden Holtby made 36 saves for the Capitals.

Carolina goalie Anton Khudobin stopped 16 shots.

The Capitals scored 62 seconds into the game, with Ward depositing the puck with ease after faking Khudobin out of position.

Chimera scored in the second period, but Tlusty's goal gave the Hurricanes some short-lived momentum.

Brouwer answered slightly more than two minutes later with his first goal with 36 seconds left in the second period.

The Capitals ended up with a 17-17-7 road record.

Tlusty's short-handed goal means the Hurricanes lead the Eastern Conference in that category with 11.

Carolina went 18-17-6 in home games.

NOTES: Hurricanes C Nathan Gerbe, who had an undisclosed injury, missed a game for the first time this season. ... Capitals RW Joel Ward produced his second three-game points streak in the past month with his first-period goal. He is in the midst of his career-best offensive season. ... Hurricanes D Ryan Murphy was sent back to Charlotte of the AHL after a two-game stint on his most-recent call-up. ... Washington plays its final two games at home, with the Chicago Blackhawks visiting Friday night and the Tampa Bay Lightning coming in Sunday. ... The Hurricanes play the Red Wings in Detroit on Friday night and finish Sunday against the Flyers in Philadelphia. ... The Hurricanes had only two home sellouts this season (Oct. 4 vs. Detroit and Feb. 8 vs. the Montreal Canadiens).

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