Capitals 2, Hurricanes 1

Preview | Box Score | Recap

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP)—Dainius Zubrus took a big hit in the first period that sent the Washington forward sprawling to the ice. He waited until the end to get back at the Carolina Hurricanes.

Zubrus scored a power-play goal with 2:13 left and Olaf Kolzig stopped 38 shots, leading the Capitals to a 2-1 win over the Hurricanes on Saturday night.

“It was a good, clean hit,” Zubrus said of the crushing check by Erik Cole. “But I guess something like that gets you more into the game.”

The Capitals, with the fewest points in the NHL coming in, have beaten the Hurricanes twice in the last four days, winning 7-1 in Washington on Wednesday.

Zubrus scored less than a minute after Jeff O’Neill was called for a boarding penalty, sending a backhander over the shoulder of Jamie Storr.

“I’ll be accountable for the loss,” O’Neill said. “I didn’t score on the five-on-three, I had many opportunities, and the penalty at the end of the game cost us the game.”

Four of Washington five wins have now come against Southeast Division teams.

“We’ve always played well against our division,” coach Bruce Cassidy said. “If we’re able to get back into this thing a strong record against our division would be a way to do it.”

Washington now trails division-leading Tampa Bay by 10 points.

Kolzig was sensational all night, improving his career record to 17-7-7 against Carolina.

“Olaf seems to amaze every one of us, every day,” Zubrus said.

Peter Bondra, with just one goal in his last 10 games, scored 27 seconds into Washington’s first power play midway through the second to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead.

“It’s frustrating because both of their goals were great shots, just inside the post shots,” Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. “Then we have open nets and we’re having a hard time just putting it over the line.”

It didn’t take long for the Capitals to give up the lead after a series of penalties over the final half of the second period.

Eric Staal appeared to have a goal about two minutes after Bondra’s score, but replay officials ruled that Kolzig was able to stop the puck shy of the goal line.

However, the rookie made good on a rebound just seconds after a Carolina power play expired later in the period for his fourth of the season.

The Hurricanes wasted a great opportunity to take the lead at the end of the second with a two-man advantage for 1:52, but failed to score in a 22-shot period. O’Neill hit the post on one of the shots as his scoring slump continued.

“The shots were there and the right guys were shooting the puck,” Maurice said. “They’re just not going in.”

Carolina, which had its four-game home unbeaten streak snapped, has scored one goal in eight of its 17 games.

“We’ve talked about playing hard but you’ve got to get pucks to go into the net,” Maurice said. “We’ve got to start getting points in these games becausewe’re playing pretty damn hard.”


Robert Lang’s assist on the game’s first goal extended his point streak to nine straight, matching the NHL high this season. … O’Neill, one of 12 players with at least 30 or more goals in each of the last three seasons, has now gone 11 games without one. … The last time the Hurricanes had a 20-shot period was Jan. 24 against Florida. … Bondra is one point shy of 800 for hiscareer—all with the Capitals.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
D. Zubrus D. Zubrus
Washington Capitals
Scored at 15:04 of 3rd


Goalie Team Shot Save
Jamie Storr Phi 20 18