Brouwer strikes on the power play
Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 3-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes Thursday night at Verizon Center:
How it happened: After a sluggish start in which they were outshot 14-0 and outscored 1-0 in the opening 10 minutes the Caps turned things around and used second-period goals by Troy Brouwer [power play] and Mike Green [even strength] to take control of the game. Brouwer finished off the Canes with an empty-netter with 5.4 seconds remaining.
What it means: The Caps have now won six in a row and are 10-1-1 in their last 12. During that time they’ve jumped from 11th in the Eastern Conference standings to third. The Hurricanes lost for the seventh straight time and are 1-13-1 in their last 15 games.
Killing their own PP: Twice in the first two periods the Capitals negated their own power play with a quick penalty and both were on careless high-sticking penalties. Troy Brouwer high-sticked Tim Gleason just eight seconds into a first-period power play; and Mike Ribeiro high-sticked Tim Wallace just four seconds into a second-period power play. The two redeemed themselves later in the second period when Ribeiro fed Brouwer for a power-play goal.
Save of the night: This one has to go to John Carlson. With 52 seconds remaining in the first period and the Hurricanes holding a 1-0 lead, Jay Harrison blasted a shot that squeaked through the pads of Braden Holtby. As the puck danced through the goal crease and toward the net Carlson swooped into whack it away.
Save of the night [by a goalie]: With the Caps holding a 2-1 lead and the Hurricanes pressing for the equalizer, Holtby slid right to left to rob Eric Staal of a certain goal. Holtby finished with 43 saves.
Beasts of the Southeast: The Caps improved to 13-3-0 against the Southeast this season. They have two more games against division opponents – Saturday against the Lightning and April 23 against Winnipeg.
Look ahead: The Caps continue their home schedule Saturday night when Steven Stamkos and the Tampa Bay Lightning visit Verizon Center. They finish up with games against Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Boston.