Hurricanes Survive Capitals' Late Surge to Pull Even in Series

Arnold Nichols
April 22, 2019

He then had the secondary assist on Brett Connolly's goal later in the third after Ovechkin beat defenseman Dougie Hamilton to the puck behind the Canes net and set up Connolly coming had to the net.

One of DC's favorite sons returned to the Capitals' lineup for Game 5 of their Round 1 Playoff match up with the Carolina Hurricanes last night.

Smith-Pelly, who spent the last two months of the season with the Hershey Bears, had seven postseason goals last season for the Capitals - including the game-tying goal in the Cup-clinching Game 5 win against the Vegas Golden Knights.

Connolly came on for Tom Wilson and scored before the rest of the line change could happen, but it was a third-liner's goal nonetheless.

There were more leaders than followers in this rout, and that included penalty killers who salted away all five Carolina power plays.

Jones made 30 saves after getting pulled in two of the past three games, including a brilliant pad save midway through the third period to rob Reilly Smith's attempt at the tying goal.

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.

After winning Games 3 and 4 to even the series, the Hurricanes look broken. He also gave the jubilant fans a new chant - "back to back".

Oshie doesn't figure to play, and it's possible that Svechnikov, who skated Thursday morning, could be back.

Through the first four games of this first-round series with the Hurricanes, the Capitals had taken more hits than they'd dished out, especially where it concerned Carolina's fleet-footed defensemen.

Mrazek allowed six goals on 28 shots but was largely hung out to dry. The 19-year-old Russian winger wore a yellow non-contact jersey and would need to clear the NHL's concussion protocol before he returns to game action.

But Teravainen and Foegele were at full strength - and the Hurricanes needed them. Benn, Seguin and Radulov combined for more points in that 5-3 game than Nashville's top line of Filip Forsberg, Ryan Johansen and Arvidsson have all series.

The Capitals have yet to face adversity like this in their season thus far. Carolina F Aleksi Saarela became the first player in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers franchise history to make his Stanley Cup playoff debut before appearing in a regular-season game.

"All we've done", Hurricanes captain Justin Williams said, "is hold serve".

His injury has only been described as "upper-body".

After beating Carolina six straight times, Washington has lost to the Hurricanes in back to back games. With T.J. Oshie going breaking his collar bone in Game 4, the Capitals are hoping that Smith-Pelly can bring that depth role that he did so well in the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.

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