WASHINGTON (AP) -- If the Carolina Hurricanes have scoring
chances they are going to attack the net, even if they down a man.
That aggressive play paid off Friday night as Carolina scored a
franchise-record three short-handed goals -- including two from
Justin Williams -- and moved into a first-place tie atop the Eastern
Conference with a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals.
"We don't pride ourselves on trying to score with a man short,
but if we have odd-man rushes, like we did tonight, we're all for
it," Williams said. "Tonight was just a situation where
Alexander Ovechkin had an assist to reach 99 points in his
rookie season, but it wasn't enough to help the Capitals, whose
late rally fell short.
Kevyn Adams added Carolina's other short-handed tally, and Eric
Staal scored his 44th goal of the season during a second-period
power play for the Hurricanes, who lead the Eastern Conference with
51 wins. Carolina is tied with Ottawa for first place with 108
It was the third straight game between the Southeast Division
rivals and the fifth matchup in 14 days. Carolina won all three
this week -- including an overtime victory and a shootout win --
after dropping the two other meetings to Washington at the end of
"It's kind of like (Washington's) playoffs, and they play
hard," Williams said. "They're a team that is going to scratch
and claw and never give up."
Ovechkin has 48 goals and 51 assists, and is one point from
becoming the sixth NHL rookie to ever post 100. Teemu Selanne,
during the 1992-93 season, is the only first-year player to reach
the mark while also scoring 50 goals. Ovechkin, the No. 1 overall
pick in the 2004 draft, will have a chance to hit both milestones
Saturday night at the New York Islanders.
The Hurricanes were trailing 1-0 in the second period and down a
man when Adams deflected in a shot by Frantisek Kaberle at 3:47.
Just 19 seconds later, Williams intercepted a Capitals pass and
scored on a breakaway to make it 2-1.
It was the second time in franchise history that Carolina scored
two short-handed goals on one opposing power play. Dave Tippett and
Dean Evason did it on Feb. 10, 1990, when the franchise was known
as the Hartford Whalers.
Washington was on another power play 44 seconds into the third
period when Williams scored again, this time off a pass from Rod
Jeff Halpern gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead with help from Dainius
Zubrus and Ovechkin. Washington didn't score again until the
frantic final minutes when Shaone Morrisonn scored his first goal
of the season with 2:52 remaining. Brian Willsie got Washington
within 4-3 by scoring his 17th goal with 1:32 left.
Otherwise, Hurricanes rookie goalie Cam Ward was sharp and made
a career-high 39 saves.
"I went back to my old self, just being calm and just relaxing
out there," Ward said.
Carolina D Aaron Ward left the game and didn't return after
taking a knee-on-knee hit from Ivan Majesky late in the second
period. ... Kaberle left late in the game after cutting his
forehead in a collision with the boards. He received more than a
dozen stitches. ... Carolina won five of the eight games in the
season series with the Capitals. ... The Los Angeles Kings hold the
record for the shortest gap between short-handed goals, netting two
in 15 seconds on March 19, 2001.