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Carolina at Washington

Capitals take down Hurricanes for second win with Boudreau on bench

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Whatever Bruce Boudreau has done to energize the Washington Capitals' woeful power play is paying dividends.

Good luck, however, getting any of the Capitals to elaborate on their interim coach's newfangled man-advantage strategy.

"I can't tell you," Michael Nylander said with a smile. "Seriously, I can't say anything."

Nylander had a goal and two assists, Alexander Ovechkin scored twice, and the Capitals won their second straight under Boudreau with a 5-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.

Washington's first three goals came on the power play, a welcome departure for a team which hadn't scored more than two in a game this season. And Nylander, who was in the middle of all three tallies, was tightlipped about any changes Boudreau has instituted.

"We've just got to keep believing we have a strong power play," he said.

Boudreau deftly sidestepped a question about the resurgent specialty unit, saying he'd done little but listen to the suggestions of assistant coach Jay Leach and trust in his players' abilities.

"The power play is a great equalizer if you can be successful at it," Boudreau said. "Tonight, we were successful. ... We haven't tweaked it a lot, only we're being more aggressive."

Mike Green and Boyd Gordon also scored for Washington, which is 2-0 since Glen Hanlon was fired Thursday. The consecutive victories are the Capitals' first since Oct. 6-8, the end of a three-game winning streak that opened the season.

"When you win, you feel more confident, more better," Ovechkin said. "But it's only two games. It's history now."

Erik Cole and Ray Whitney scored for Carolina, which has dropped two straight and three of five.

"One thing's for sure: (penalty killing) has to get better," Hurricanes right wing Justin Williams said. "Mid-70 percentile is not going to be good enough. We need to know when we take a penalty, we're not going to be in trouble. We need to have confidence in our penalty killing, and we need to find it."

Nylander set up a pair of power-play tallies in the first period, helping the Capitals to a 2-0 lead.

At 3:03, Nylander's cross-ice pass out of the right corner found Green, who beat John Grahame with a wrister on a dash through the left circle. Just over three minutes later, Nylander was pinned in the right corner when he sent a no-look, backhanded pass to Ovechkin, who swept in a shot from the right wing and extended his point-scoring streak to nine games.

Midway through the second period, Nylander notched his sixth goal for a 3-0 lead. After a faceoff to Grahame's left, Nylander pounced on a loose puck and whacked it in at 11:30.

The Hurricanes finally broke through with nine seconds remaining in the second. Corey Stillman fed Cole, who skated down the slot, split two defenders between the circles and pushed a shot past Olaf Kolzig.

Carolina got within one at 3-2 on Whitney's 11th goal at 2:09, but Ovechkin restored the two-goal lead with 1:50 left in the game, beating Grahame to the far post from the right side.

An apparent goal by Williams with 46.8 seconds left was waved off after a video review because of a high stick. After the ensuing faceoff, Boyd Gordon scored a short-handed, empty-netter with 38.7 seconds remaining.

Notes

  • Washington hadn't scored two power-play goals since Oct. 29 and the trio was the Capitals' most at home since netting three Feb. 27, 2007.
  • It was the Hurricanes' 11th against a Southeast Division foe since Oct. 31.
  • Carolina scratched D Mike Commodore (broken finger) and D David Tanabe (flu), while LW Alexander Semin (sprained ankle) missed the game for Washington.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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Alexander Ovechkin celebrates his second goal with teammate Shaone Morrisonn. (AP)
Alexander Ovechkin celebrates his second goal with teammate Shaone Morrisonn. (AP)

Scoreboard
Carolina (13-8-3)0112
Washington  (8-14-1) «2125
Three Stars
A. Ovechkin
WAS


Goals: 2
Assist(s): 0
M. Nylander
WAS


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2
O. Kolzig
WAS


Saves: 35
Save Pct.: .946
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
03:03Power Play - Mike Green (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Michael Nylander, Tom Poti
06:17Power Play - Alex Ovechkin (15), Backhand Shot. Assist: Michael Nylander, Nicklas Backstrom
2ND PERIOD
11:30Power Play - Michael Nylander (6), Slap Shot. Assist: Nicklas Backstrom
19:51Erik Cole (4), Slap Shot. Assist: Cory Stillman
3RD PERIOD
02:09Ray Whitney (11), Snap Shot. Assist: Glen Wesley
18:10Alex Ovechkin (16), Slap Shot. Assist: Shaone Morrisonn
19:21Short - Boyd Gordon (2), Empty Net. Assist: Dave Steckel
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
02:48Kaberle, 2 min, Hooking
05:19Cullen, 2 min, Tripping
11:11Clark, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
11:26Hedican, 2 min, Interference
13:15Erskine, 2 min, Holding the Stick
15:33Brind'Amour, 2 min, Tripping
3RD PERIOD
16:17Nylander, 2 min, Hooking
16:17Letowski, 2 min, Closing Hand on Puck
19:01Green, 2 min, Charging
Shots On Goal
 123T
Carolina11111537
Washington1513634
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
John Grahame59:04294
Olaf Kolzig59:52352
Game Information
Attendance - 13650
Referees - Paul Devorski, Chris Rooney
Linesmen - Michel Cormier, Brad Kovachik
 
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