Alex Ovechkin’s Hat Trick in Second Straight Game Leads Caps to Comeback Win over Hurricanes

The Washington Capitals and their were frustrated. It was a stinker start of the game and it saw the Caps trail 4-1 to the Carolina Hurricanes before they mounted a furious comeback in the third period to win the game 6-5 in a shootout. The win was the Caps fourth in a row and 11th win in their last 13 games. The comeback was led by Alex Ovechkin’s hat trick, the second straight game he accomplished the feat. The difference in the shootout was Jakub Vrana, who scored his first career shootout goal on his first-ever attempt. The Caps improve their record to 19-9-3 for 41 points and lead the Blue Jackets by five-points for first place in the Metropolitan Division

The Hurricanes struck first with a wraparound goal from Jordan Martinook 47 seconds in.

Alex Ovechkin would strike almost four minutes later for his 26th goal of the year, a wheeler right from the office. We all know Ovechkin has achieved milestone after milestone, season after season, but there was a first milestone for Jonas Siegenthaler. The standout from Hershey has been one of the guys counted on to help a blueline that has (and still is) missed Brooks Orpik and now will miss Christian Djoos as he’s out indefinitely after having surgery on his left thigh. A first point comes from an assist to one of the greatest hockey players of all time. That’s pretty good.

Sebastian Aho put the Hurricanes in front with a goal later in the first period and less than five minutes into the second period. Aho’s first came while shorthanded when Dougie Hamilton high-sticked Tom Wilson. His second came when the Hurricanes were on the power play after Ovechkin was called for holding former Capital Justin Williams.

The Capitals penalty kill allowed a second consecutive goal after Wilson was called for interference. This tally coming from Teuvo Teravainen to put the hosts up 4-1.

The Capitals put together a spirited comeback to end the middle frame with three unanswered goals. First was Wilson, who is in his first game back after leaving last Tuesday’s game against the Golden Knights after a blindside hit from Ryan Reaves. The goal was his ninth of the season and the first of his career against the Hurricanes.

Ovechkin made it a one-goal deficit with a gnarly pump fake shot in between two defenders and past Hurricanes netminder Scott Darling. The goal was Ovechkin’s 27th of the season, leading the league.

Travis Boyd and the fourth line worked their magic. Travis Boyd tied the game with his third goal of the season with a deflection of John Carlson’s shot. Since scoring his first career goal last Saturday in Columbus, Boyd has scored in three straight games. Nic Dowd was also credited with the assist for his third of the game, a career high. He also assisted on both Ovechkin goals. Three points is another career-high for Dowd.

The Caps outshot the Hurricanes 11-6 in the second period after an even 10-10 first period. In the third, Michal Kempny went to the box for hooking at 3:19 but this time the Caps penalty kill pulled through. The Caps got a power play chance almost midway through the third when Jordan Martinook slashed Wilson. Ovechkin scored on the ensuing power play for his 28th of the season, completing a hat trick for the second straight game. The hat trick was the 22nd of his career and the power play strike was the 237th of his career. Ovechkin passed Mario Lemieux of the Penguins for seventh on the NHL’s all-time power play goals list.

The Hurricanes got a power play chance of their own when T.J. Oshie was called for high-sticking Brett Pesce. What followed was a misplay that Braden Holtby would like to have back. As the puck came behind the goal, Holtby played it and tried to get the pass out to an open teammate or down the ice. The goal pipes deflected the pass and pretty much fell on Williams’ lap to tie the game. This game would require overtime.

In the extra session, Matt Niskanen was called for tripping with 1:35 to go. The Caps killed off the penalty to end overtime and send the game into a shootout. The shootout went three rounds without a goal being scored until Dougie Hamilton scored in the fourth round to put the Canes ahead. Nicklas Backstrom tied it to keep the game going.

In the sixth round, Jakub Vrana had his first career shootout attempt and converted to win the game and complete the comeback.

The Caps outshot the Hurricanes 29-27 and Braden Holtby earned the win by stopping 22 of the 27 shots he faced for an .815 save percentage. The Capitals will return to D.C. Saturday night for the second-half of a back-to-back where they’ll welcome #1 draft pick Rasmus Dahlin and the Buffalo Sabres. Puck drop from Capital One Arena is at 7 p.m.

 

 

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