WASHINGTON -- Sonny Milano scored his first NHL hat trick to help the Washington Capitals to a 7-6 shootout win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Capital One Arena on Friday.

Alex Ovechkin scored his sixth goal in four games and had an assist for the Capitals (34-26-9), who have won four of five and trail the Detroit Red Wings by one point for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference.

Dylan Strome had three assists and scored the only goal in the shootout in the fifth round, and Darcy Kuemper allowed four goals on 22 shots before being replaced at the start of the third period by Charlie Lindgren (seven saves).

“It was a great effort. Plenty of momentum swings,” Washington defenseman John Carlson said. “When we’re fighting tooth and nail like we have been for a while now, you get some deflating goals against you, and we just put our heads down and worked through it. That pays off.”

Sebastian Aho had a hat trick, and Seth Jarvis scored in his sixth straight game and had an assist for the Hurricanes (44-20-7), who had won five straight and moved within one point of the New York Rangers for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Jaccob Slavin had a goal and an assist, Jake Guentzel had three assists, and Pyotr Kochetkov made 19 saves for Carolina, which defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in overtime on Thursday.

“It was quite a game. Obviously not our best,” Aho said after Carolina allowed Washington to go 3-for-6 on the power play. “A couple good comebacks, battled till the end. Effort is there for sure, but just got to be a little bit more focused on not taking penalties and not giving them all the momentum in the game.”

Connor McMichael put the Capitals in front 6-5 at 13:53 of the third period when he backhanded a loose puck into the net, but Aho tied it 6-6 at 17:39 and was credited with his third goal when Martin Necas’ shot deflected in off him at the left post.

“It was just a weird game for us, but every time something went wrong, we were able to dig ourselves out,” Hurricanes coach Rod Brind’Amour said. “So, I give the guys a lot of credit.”

CAR@WSH: Strome leads Capitals to shootout win

Aho gave Carolina a 1-0 lead at 6:53 of the first period, scoring from the low slot after a pass from Guentzel behind the net.

Milano tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 12:45, backhanding a loose puck near the left post.

“I thought especially early on when we were searching for it a bit and you could feel we hadn’t gotten into the game yet … him stepping up sort of calmed us a bit,” Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said.

Slavin put the Hurricanes ahead 2-1 at 19:12, scoring on a one-timer from the left face-off circle off Jesperi Kotkaniemi’s pass from behind the net.

Brent Burns appeared to make it 3-1 at 8:48 of the second period, but the Capitals challenged for goaltender interference on former Washington forward Evgeny Kuznetsov and the goal was disallowed.

Ovechkin tied it 2-2 on the power play at 13:59, knocking in a pass across the crease from Strome at the left post.

CAR@WSH: Ovechkin tucks it home on the power play

Milano gave Washington a 3-2 lead at 14:40, juggling the puck in the slot before sending it past Kochetkov.

“It's just pretty natural at this point because I practice so much that when I saw the rolling puck, that was my decision,” Milano said.

Jordan Martinook had a goal overturned for Carolina at 14:54 after Washington challenged for offside.

“Two in a game is rare, so those are big, big moments to be able to take two goals off the board,” Carbery said of the challenges.

Aho tied it 3-3 at 15:23, scoring into an open net after a cross-ice pass from Guentzel.

"He's such a good player that he makes it easy for me to play with him,” Guentzel said of Aho. “Him and [Jarvis] have been nothing but unbelievable for me. It's been a fun little run here and hopefully it keeps going.”

Brady Skjei gave the Hurricanes a 4-3 lead with six seconds left in the period when his one-timer from the point deflected off Kuemper’s glove and in.

Carlson tied it 4-4 on the power play at 3:45 of the third with a slap shot from the point.

Milano completed the hat trick and put the Capitals ahead 5-4 at 8:19 when his shot from the slot deflected in off Necas.

“We had the lead, they had the lead, it kept going back and forth,” Milano said. “It was a lot of fun to be a part of, but we came through.”

Jarvis tied it 5-5 at 9:35 when he scored a power-play goal from the right circle.

NOTES: With 1,541 points (846 goals, 695 assists), Ovechkin passed Joe Thornton (1,539) for 13th in NHL history. … Capitals forward Tom Wilson served the first of a six-game suspension by the NHL Department of Player Safety for high-sticking Toronto Maple Leafs forward Noah Gregor on Wednesday. … Milano’s hat trick came in his 299th NHL game. … Kuznetsov, who played 11 seasons with the Capitals before being traded to the Hurricanes on March 8, had two shots on goal and played 16:21 in his first game against his former team. … Aho reached 547 points (248 goals, 299 assists) and passed Kevin Dineen (544) for sole possession of third in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history. He also increased his season total to 30 goals, reaching the mark for the third straight season and fifth time in his NHL career. … Carolina forward Teuvo Teravainen had two shots and was minus-1 in 16:42 after missing four games because of an upper-body injury. … Jarvis has seven goals during his streak.

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