Burns scores, Hurricanes beat Ovechkin-less Capitals 3-2
WASHINGTON (AP) — Brent Burns scored his 11th goal of the season, Frederik Andersen made 34 saves and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the depleted Washington Capitals 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Burns had one of three Hurricanes goals scored thanks to a point shot from a defenseman. The 2017 Norris Trophy winner scored through traffic, Calvin de Haan’s shot went in off Paul Stastny, and Brady Skjei’s shot was redirected in by Stefan Noesen on the power play.
Those hard-earned goals and Andersen’s solid performance helped Carolina get back on track after losing 6-2 at home to the New York Rangers over the weekend. The Hurricanes have won 10 of their past 12 to pad their lead atop the Metropolitan Division.
“Any time you lose, I think we’ve done a good job just kind of turning the page,” Stastny said. “For us, it’s just kind of finding our legs, finding our groove after that break. I think we were playing pretty well going into the break and now we’re just slowly finding it more and more the past couple games, and I think we’ll be able to get back to where we were before.”
This was the kind of response the Hurricanes were hoping for after losing to New York on Saturday and with players’ fathers and mentors in attendance. It’s a good start to the week for the Hurricanes, who are set to play their first outdoor game Saturday night against Washington at North Carolina State’s football stadium in Raleigh.
“It’s just good to get a win,” Stastny said. “The fathers’ trip is always kind of special for everyone. You always play with a little extra energy.”
The Capitals could get top winger Tom Wilson back for the Stadium Series game, but they’ll still be without captain Alex Ovechkin, No. 1 defenseman John Carlson and likely fourth-line center Nic Dowd.
Ovechkin left the team Tuesday to attend to a family health matter, and coach Peter Laviolette expects the Russian winger to be out at least the rest of the week and away “for the foreseeable future.” Carlson has been out since Dec. 23 after taking a slapshot to the head, while Dowd has missed 10 consecutive games because of injury.
“I thought we played hard against a real good team,” Laviolette said. “I didn’t like the outcome. We didn’t win the hockey game. Did a lot of good things, but in the end we came up short.”
Joe Snively, only in the lineup because of the absences of Ovechkin and forward Aliaksei Protas — who’s out to be with his wife for the birth of the couple’s first child — had a goal and a primary assist. The Northern Virginia native set up T.J. Oshie with a perfect pass in front and later picked a corner on Andersen to score his first goal since Feb. 17, 2022.
Darcy Kuemper made 27 saves and could hardly be blamed on any of Carolina’s goals. Trevor van Riemsdyk’s would-be tying goal for the Capitals midway through the third period was disallowed after Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour successfully challenged for goaltender interference.
The NHL’s Situation Room said video review determined Oshie impaired Andersen’s ability to play his position.
“Nobody’s sure on these,” Brind’Amour said. “On the overhead, it’s clear (Oshie) goes in by himself and he takes a crack at the puck but then he lies on the goalie for a split second. So, by the letter of the law, you’re not allowed to do that, so that’s why I was pretty sure.”
Washington has lost two in a row since beating the league-leading Boston Bruins on Saturday.
Hurricanes: Host the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.
Capitals: Host the Florida Panthers on Thursday night.
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