Hurricanes rally past Capitals 5-2, force Game 7
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jordan Staal scored the go-ahead goal and added an assist in the third period, and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 on Monday night to force Game 7 in their first-round playoff series.
Justin Williams scored an insurance goal seconds after the Capitals had the tying goal disallowed, Warren Foegele and Teuvo Teravainen also scored, Dougie Hamilton added an empty-netter and Petr Mrazek made 23 saves.
The Hurricanes scored three third-period goals in bouncing back from a 6-0 beatdown in Game 5 and prolonging their first playoff appearance in a decade by one game at least.
Game 7 is Wednesday night in Washington. The winner will play the New York Islanders in the second round.
Alex Ovechkin scored for the third straight game, Brett Connolly also scored and Braden Holtby stopped 31 shots.
Washington — which won 10 road games a year ago on its run to the first Stanley Cup title in club history — went 0-3 on the road in this series after winning both regular-season meetings in Raleigh.
Staal gave the Hurricanes their first lead of the game at 3:51 of the third period, following a scramble in front of Holtby. Justin Faulk uncorked a shot from the point and Brock McGinn and Staal both poked at it, with Staal ultimately slipping it past the Capitals goalie to make it 3-2.
Then came the key momentum swing of this one — the waved-off goal that Washington thought should have counted.
As Evgeny Kuznetsov tried to tuck the puck under Mrazek’s pads with 9:26 remaining, Ovechkin crashed into the goalie. The officials waved it off, ruling that the Capitals’ captain interfered with Mrazek by pushing his pad.
Williams then put Carolina up by two goals 84 seconds later by tipping Brett Pesce’s shot past Holtby and Hamilton extended the lead with his empty-netter with 3:06 left.
By that point, the Capitals’ frustrations hit their breaking point, with Ovechkin receiving a slashing penalty and a game misconduct with 1:08 remaining.