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Capitals down 'Canes, stop skid at three

Nov 25, 2010 - 5:55 AM
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Brooks Laich tipped in the decisive goal with time winding down in the third period, as the Washington Capitals got back on track with a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Laich's power-play score came after the Capitals had blown a two-goal edge -- Nicklas Backstrom tallied consecutive goals to build the lead.

Semyon Varlamov made 30 saves for Washington, which had given up 15 goals during its recent three-game slide.

Eric Staal and Sergei Samsonov scored the goals for Carolina, which has lost three in a row and five of six. Justin Peters stopped 35-of-38 shots in the setback.

"We've got to try and have a better start," Staal said. "You can't let a good team like that get two goals on you early in the game and expect to win."

The Capitals went on the power play at the 12:02 mark of the third period, when Hurricanes forward Jeff Skinner was whistled for slashing, and they needed only five seconds to capitalize.

Alex Ovechkin gloved a clearing attempt by Peters before unleashing a blast from the point. Laich tipped the puck on its way back toward the goal, and it got by Peters.

Varlamov had given up two goals earlier in the period, but held steady for the rest of the game.

Backstrom got the Capitals on the board with a little under seven minutes to play in the first period. Peters couldn't control a rebound, and Backstrom slapped the puck in net as he skated by the right side of the crease.

Then, only 61 seconds into the second period, Backstrom made it a 2-0 game. He moved from the right circle into the slot with the puck, then took a shot with Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason several feet in front of him. Gleason acted as a screen as the puck sneaked in the left side of the net.

"We've [had a] pretty slow start the last couple games, so that was real good that we had a good start," Backstrom said.

Carolina, though, rallied in the third, getting its first goal on Samsonov's tip-in at 4:04. About four minutes later, the Hurricanes drew even after showing persistence in front of the net while on a power play.

Skinner gained possession behind the net and emerged on the right side, then pivoted in the slot as he attempted to get a shot on goal. He offered only a weak backhander, but Staal was there to knock the puck home.

Game Notes

Staal skated in his 500th NHL game...Washington improved to 11-0-1 when it scores a power-play goal and 9-0-0 when leading after two periods...Ovechkin assisted on all three Capitals scores.