Caps clobber 'Canes, take 3-2 series lead


Nicklas Backstrom finished with two goals and two assists, and Alex Ovechkin added a goal and two assists as the Washington Capitals defeated the visiting Carolina Hurricanes 6-0 in Game 5 of their Eastern Conference first-round series Saturday night.

The Capitals now have a 3-2 lead in the series and can close out the Hurricanes in Game 6 on Monday night in Raleigh, N.C.

The winner of this series will meet the New York Islanders.

Tom Wilson finished with a goal and an assist as Washington's top line -- Ovechkin, Backstrom and Wilson -- delivered in a big way with four goals and five assists. Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson also added two assists apiece.

Goalie Braden Holtby finished with 30 saves, 15 of which came in the second period, to earn the win.

The Capitals were playing without T.J. Oshie, out for an indefinite amount of time due to an upper-body injury suffered in Game 4. Carolina again was missing Andrei Svechnikov, injured in an early Game 3 fight with Ovechkin.

The Capitals took a 1-0 lead on a Backstrom power-play goal in the first period.

Backstrom came at goaltender Petr Mrazek from the right and fired a shot that went wide. But the puck came back to Backstrom, and he slipped it past the goalie at 7:33.

Carolina just missed on a power play in the second period when Wilson cleared a loose puck in front of Holtby that could have gone in and tied the game. After the power play ended, Ovechkin collared a loose puck and started a 2-on-1 with Backstrom.

Ovechkin slid a perfect cross to Backstrom, who fired it in with 5:39 left in the second period, less than 20 seconds after the power play ended. That was just Washington's second shot of the period -- Carolina had 12 at that point -- but it gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead.

They made it 3-0 after a Backstrom stretch pass hit Ovechkin's stick and went all the way to the other end. Ovechkin then dug the puck out and quickly fed Brett Connolly, who scored just 1:50 after Backstrom.

Wilson added a power-play goal 64 seconds into the third period that gave Washington a 4-0 lead. Nic Dowd made it 5-0 by scoring on a penalty shot with 11:03 left. Ovechkin added his goal less than two minutes later.

--Field Level Media

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