Clinching defeat from the jaws of victory: Hurricanes force Game 7 with 5-2 win

After a successful post-season last year which saw Washington win every elimination game, the Capitals dropped a disappointing bout in Raleigh by the score of 5-2.

4 unanswered goals by Carolina erased a 2-1 Washington lead after 20 minutes. This game wasn’t without controversy, with multiple questionable calls and a disallowed goal denying a tying goal by Washington in the 3rd. After a failed coach’s challenge, Carolina pushed Washington over the edge, scoring a deflection and empty-netter to put the game out of reach.

First Period

The third line kicked off scoring the right way, with Brett Connolly and Lars Eller teaming up for a sweet opening goal after an Andre Burakovsky breakout.

He who shall not be named, W. F O E G E L E, potted the tying goal for Carolina after a penalty was killed.

Alex Ovechkin restored the lead late in the first, making a beautiful net drive, and blasting a wrist shot that beat Petr Mrazek blocker-side.

Second Period

Tuevo Teravainen had the equalizer early in the second after capitalizing on a Jonas Seigenthaler turnover behind the net. Sebastian Aho forced the turnover and found Teravainen completely uncovered.

Third Period

Carolina eventually took the lead after Jordan Staal went to the net and manhandled both Matt Niskanen and Dmitri Orlov.

At the halfway point in the 3rd, Washington appeared to tie the game after a Kuznetsov net drive was pushed into the net by Ovechkin. The goal was waved off on the ice, and after review and a Capitals challenge, Toronto upheld the call.

Justin Williams made it a two-goal lead for Carolina with a fantastic deflection to make it 4-2.

Dougie Hamilton made it 5-2 with an empty-net goal.

Quick Thoughts…

  1. Washington dominated the first period. Clean breakouts, good passing, and lots of puck movement. As the score indicates, that did not last long.
  2. Braden Holtby did not have the best game tonight. I thought the Foegele goal was stoppable.
  3. Niskanen and Orlov had miserable games tonight defensively. Need that to change come Wednesday.
  4. Where the heck is the second line? Other than the one net drive by Kuznetsov, this line has been completely invisible. 0 combined goals from Kuznetsov, Hagelin, and Vrana. NEED this line to step up, or the Caps might have issues on Wednesday.
  5. Washington’s power play in Raleigh has been…powerless? No cohesion and no established pressure.
  6. Game 7… the words no Capitals fan likes to hear. Washington will go home and try to win this one on home ice.
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Austen Adcock

Freelance writer, alumni of the University of Mississippi, hockey and baseball connoisseur

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