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game recap

Braden Holtby, Capitals shut out Hurricanes

Five Washington players score in 10th straight home win

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby made 23 saves in a 5-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at Verizon Center on Tuesday.

It was Holtby's 30th NHL shutout. His seven this season are tied with Los Angeles Kings goalie Peter Budaj for the NHL lead.

"Our goalies all year have been unbelievable for us," Capitals forward Marcus Johansson said. "It's fun to play right now, and the confidence in the group is outstanding. The goaltenders are just giving us a chance night in and night out and that's a pretty good feeling to have in a group."

 

WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Capitals highlights

 

Washington (37-11-6) has won 10 consecutive home games, including 5-0 against the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday with Philipp Grubauer in goal.

Video: Holtby earns Tuesday's Pepsi Zero Sugar Shutout

Johansson, Alex Ovechkin, Brett Connolly, Lars Eller, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for the Capitals, who have scored at least five goals in nine straight home games.

Eddie Lack, in his first start since Nov. 6, made 23 saves for the Hurricanes (24-21-7), who had won three consecutive games.

"I didn't mind us in the second (period). I didn't mind our start. It was 2-0, we had a breakaway there, we had a couple looks, we had guys alone net-front and didn't capitalize there," Carolina coach Bill Peters said. "Then they got the third one and we hesitated a little bit and they scored on the bump-up shift to make it 4-0 and that's the game."

Ovechkin scored on the power play at 10:23 of the first period to make it 1-0. The one-timer squeaked in off Lack's glove.

Connolly gave Washington a 2-0 lead at 13:47 with his 11th goal of the season, one from his NHL career high. Connolly has six points in his past four games.

Eller scored at 6:10 of the third period to make it 3-0, his 10th of the season. He scored on Lack from the left circle.

Kuznetsov scored 27 seconds later to make it 4-0. His 12th of the season went in off the left post. Johansson scored a power-play goal at 14:12, his 17th.

Video: CAR@WSH: Ovechkin opens scoring with blistering PPG

 

Goal of the game

Connolly faked a shot in the slot, cut into the right circle and took a wrist shot that went past Lack's glove.

Video: CAR@WSH: Connolly beats Lack with sharp wrister

 

Save of the game

Holtby stopped Sebastian Aho on a breakaway with a pad save.

Video: CAR@WSH: Holtby shuts the door on Aho's breakaway

 

Highlight of the game

Kuznetsov scored on a one-timer from the slot.

Video: CAR@WSH: Kuznetsov buries Johansson's slick dish

 

Unsung performance of the game

The Capitals killed three penalties, including one early in the third period.

"The second period was a little sloppy and we could have taken advantage of it a little more," Holtby said. "We realized that coming into the third and we knew there was going to have to be something to turn the momentum in our favor and that was at the time of the game while it was still anyone's game. If they score there it's completely different. Big moments like that, guys are looking forward to them and succeeding in them right now."

 

They said it

"Shutouts are a kind of a funny thing because some games you play better than you do in shutouts because the puck goes in. I don't really look into it that much. I think we're more focused on giving our team a chance to win based on the night that's handed to us. I think Philipp's done a phenomenal job of that and I think we're trying to do our job." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby

 

"As long as I've been here, the equal share of scoring hasn't been this distributed in a long time. It's awesome to see the third, even the fourth (line) chip in. You know those superstars in the top six are going to get it done every night too. It's nice to have kind of the third line helping them out, and the fourth line when we can help out, it's nice to see that group mentality going." -- Capitals forward Tom Wilson

 

"It makes the difference in the game, special teams. The penalty kill has been great all year. For one reason or another, the power play hasn't been where we want it to be as a group. So we gave up two goals on the power play tonight and then we don't get any ourselves, that's a big part of the game. So for us, it's about finding answers to make sure the power play at worst is gaining momentum and getting chances and hopefully contributing goals." -- Hurricanes forward Lee Stempniak

 

Need to know

The Capitals are the first team to score at least five goals in a span of nine straight home games since the Calgary Flames from March 3-April 1, 1990, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. … Ovechkin is tied for third in the NHL with 26 goals, with Cam Atkinson of the Columbus Blue Jackets behind Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (30) and Los Angeles Kings center Jeff Carter (27). … Connolly scored 12 goals for the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2014-15.

 

What's next

Hurricanes: At the Dallas Stars on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-SW, NHL.TV)

Capitals: Host the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-D, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Holtby, Capitals blank Hurricanes, 5-0

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