Friday, March 26, 2010 12:27am
By Joe Beninati
Please don't let these guys slip into the 8th spot in the East. Carolina never quits against Washington and pushed them to the limit tonight.The Hurricanes jumped out to a quick 2-0 advantage. Jamie McBain has a bright future ahead of him. Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice has noticed this youngster on the radar screen this year and his NHL baptism is going well. He blasted a slapper past a screened Semyon Varlamov to give the locals the lead early in the period.Varlamov didn't catch a break on the second goal either. He was shifting to his glove side when Bryan Rodney's shot deflected down into the far corner. After some rocky moments in the first period the young Russian netminder settled in pretty well. He made three strong stops in the second and one red letter save on Eric Staal in overtime.Once the game reached the middle period the Caps played a much more responsible and accountable frame. They were a bit sluggish in the first after expending all that emotion the previous night against Pittsburgh.Alex Semin scoring against Carolina is like the sun rising in the east -- happens everytime. He ripped a slapshot through Manny Legace to cut the Carolina lead in half.
Legace was giving the Caps trouble tonight. I thought he might struggle against them because he relies on reflexes and isn't the biggest goalie in the business. But the little guy did really well.John Carlson picked a good time to tally his first NHL goal in period three. He jumped into the play at the perfect time, took a short pass from Jason Chimera, and zipped a shot under Legace to tie the score.Tom Poti had a golden opportunity to win the game at the buzzer, but another Legace stop pushed the game past regulation.The Caps had the better of the play in overtime, but neither club converted. So for the second straight night it was off to the shootout.This one required five rounds and Hurricane winger Chad LaRose, taking his first ever shootout shot, was the unlikely hero, tucking one past Varlamov on a deke to the forehand.With the point the Caps break the franchise record for most in a single season. Bruce Boudreau told us today he loves breaking records. And his team will have plenty of opportunities to set new standards in the days and weeks ahead.Next up Calgary at 3pm Sunday from Verizon on Comcast SportsNet.