WASHINGTON -- Jake Gardiner scored with 56 seconds remaining in overtime to give the Carolina Hurricanes a 3-2 win against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Saturday.
Gardiner picked up a loose puck near center ice, entered the Washington zone on a 2-on-1 with Sebastian Aho and beat Braden Holtby from the left face-off circle.
Carolina trailed 2-0 entering the third period.
"I thought originally that (Washington center Nicklas) Backstrom was kind of fading towards Sebastian there, and usually I would pass that probably," Gardiner said of his first goal with the Hurricanes. "But since I saw that, I decided to shoot."
[WATCH: All Hurricanes vs. Capitals highlights]
Erik Haula and Jaccob Slavin scored, and Andrei Svechnikov had two assists for the Hurricanes, who have won their first two games of the season despite trailing after two periods in each. They defeated the Montreal Canadiens 4-3 in overtime on Thursday.
James Reimer made 33 saves in his Carolina debut.
Garnet Hathaway and T.J. Oshie scored, and Holtby made 25 saves for the Capitals in their home opener. Washington was playing the second of back-to-back games and lost for the first time in three games to start the season.
"We're tired in this game," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "They're fresh, and we're just trying to hang on to the lead. Despite that fact, we didn't change our style. They just had a little extra jump in the third period there."
Carolina eliminated Washington with a 4-3 double-overtime win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round here in April. The Hurricanes trailed 2-0 and 3-1 in that game.
Video: CAR@WSH: Slavin completes pretty passing play
They tied it 2-2 on Saturday when Slavin scored off a pass from Jordan Martinook at 9:50 of the third period.
"Anytime you have a lead, you want to keep pushing, but you don't want to push and not have support coming back," Holtby said. "We just got caught there a little bit, especially against a team that transitions so fast."
Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said, "We weren't playing a poor game. We were pretty solid. We had a couple, I thought, bad breaks there and the guys just hung in there, and then obviously some huge penalty [kills] in this game. I think that was the story of the game for me."
Carolina was 1-for-4 on the power play. Washington was 0-for-6.
"We just didn't execute what we wanted to do," Oshie said of the power play. "When you don't do that, and you're not winning too many battles down low, the other team's PK is going to send a lot of pucks down the ice, and that's a lot of skating for a power-play unit."
The Capitals made it 1-0 with 2:37 left in the first period when Hathaway controlled a loose puck in the left circle and shot over Reimer's left shoulder.
Video: CAR@WSH: Hathaway roofs goal over Reimer's glove
Oshie backhanded the puck across the goal line during a scramble in front at 11:40 of the second to make it 2-0.
Hathaway appeared to score his second goal of the game at 16:07 of the second period, but it was overturned because of goaltender interference by Brendan Leipsic.
"That was a big break, obviously," Brind'Amour said. "That one was pretty obvious that [Reimer] got bumped into as the puck was on the way to the net. So of all the goalie interferences that happen in the League and over the years where you're just not sure, that was for me automatic."
Carolina pulled within 2-1 at 2:36 of the third on the power play when Haula redirected a centering pass from Teuvo Teravainen.
"Yeah, we've been practicing that in practice a lot, and if it's there, he's making the play," Haula said. "I've just got to finish it off, and that's good."
Video: CAR@WSH: Haula finishes tap-in PPG in front
They said it
"Anytime you get some adversity like this, whether it's Game 2 or Game 82, it's good. We had to come back and battle, and I thought we worked hard all game." -- Hurricanes goalie James Reimer
"Five out of six [points] if you were looking at it to start the year is something that would be above average of what we're looking for, and I think we did some good things in these three games and some stuff to grow on." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden
Need to know
Hurricanes defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk (shoulder) missed his second game. … Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov served the final game of a three-game suspension for inappropriate conduct during the offseason. … Washington defenseman Michal Kempny (hamstring) missed his third game. …The Capitals are 15-1-2 in their past 18 home openers.
Hurricanes: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-CR, SUN, NHL.TV)
Capitals: Host the Dallas Stars on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSWA, FS-SW, NHL.TV)
Video: Gardiner's OT goal lifts Hurricanes past Capitals