Hurricanes fall to Caps in shootout, snapping seven-game home winning streak

James Guillory—USA TODAY Sports
Washington Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov scores the game-winningshootout goal against Carolina Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward Friday at PNC Arena. The Washington Capitals defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in the shootout.

RALEIGH — Both the Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals were riding streaks heading into Friday’s game at PNC Arena, and neither seemed to want theirs to end.A back-and-forth game went to the shootout, where T.J. Oshie and Evgeni Kuzentsov both scored on Cam Ward to give Washington their sixth-straight win, 4-3, and snap Carolina’s seven-game home winning streak.Oshie also tied the game in the third period to force overtime, redirecting a Dmitry Orlov point shot that skittered past Ward and tied the game with 6:04 left in regulation.”I think the lead changed hands three times,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “Good game, real good game. … Some up and down, a lot of action. Lots of Grade A’s, I thought, both ways. D were active. I thought it was a good game.”The Hurricanes (12-11-7) looked like they were on their way to an eighth-straight home victory when they scored 40 seconds into the third period on the power play.After Nicklas Backstrom took an offensive zone penalty just 32 seconds into the final period, Teuvo Teravainen redirected a Sebastian Aho shot just eight seconds later to give Carolina a 3-2 lead.But Oshie’s goal forced overtime in an evenly matched game that seemed destined to be decided in the shootout.Jeff Skinner scored the game’s first goal, his 12th of the season, on a nice feed from lineman Derek Ryan.After Carolina dumped the puck into the Capitals zone, Victor Rask collected it and found Ryan to Philipp Grubauer’s left. Ryan sent the puck to Skinner in the crease, and he outbattled Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen, kicking the puck from skate to stick to open the scoring.The second period saw three goals scored, including Washington (19-7-3) cracking Carolina’s vaunted penalty kill — with some help from the Hurricanes’ penalty killers.Viktor Stalberg started a shorthanded rush up the ice, but the Hurricanes failed to get the puck deep in the Washington zone. The Capitals raced back and Alex Ovechkin picked a corner on Ward to tie the game at 1-1 at 6:25 of the second period.”That was a rocket, bar down,” Peters said. “That’s what [Ovechkin] gets paid to do, and he did it. … We turn it over and they score on a 4-on-2 rush. So lesson learned there.”Former Hurricanes forward Justin Williams then pushed Washington ahead.After Carolina failed to convert during 38 seconds of 5-on-3 time and the remaining time on the one-man advantage, the Capitals got their first lead when Williams ricocheted a puck into the net for a 2-1 Washington lead at 11:13 of the middle period.”There was a period of time there in the second where we kind of loosened up a little bit defensively and they got some chances,” Skinner said. “But it’s a good team over there, pretty tight both ways.”Aho had two assists on the night. The other tied the game at 13:31 of the second period. On a developing odd-man rush, Aho feathered the puck past Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner to spring Justin Faulk, who ripped a quick shot past Grubauer’s pad to tie the game at 2-2.”The D-man pressured me so I just tried to make a good pass to Faulker,” said Aho, who had the fourth multipoint night of his 30-game NHL career.While Carolina managed to get a point, it wasn’t lost on the team how important it is to win games in regulation against opponents in the red-hot Metropolitan Division.”Everyone can see our division’s flying away. … You gotta win the division games,” Faulk said. “We’re obviously on the outside of that right now and [there are] pretty great opportunities for us to pick up points and gain ground and not give them opportunities.”Notes: Ryan extended his point streak to five games, while Rask (four games) and Skinner (three games) have also been on scoring runs. … After not scoring for 17 games, Faulk got a goal for the second straight night Friday.