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game recap

Samsonov makes 38 saves, Capitals hold off Hurricanes

Rookie is 8-0-0 on road; Kuznetsov has goal, assist to help Washington end skid

by Kurt Dusterberg / Independent Correspondent

Kuznetsov finishes Carlson's pass

WSH@CAR: Kuznetsov nets Carlson's feed for PPG

John Carlson sends a perfect pass down low to Evgeny Kuznetsov, who taps the feed home for a power-play goal in the 2nd period

  • 00:41 •

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Ilya Samsonov made 38 saves, and the Washington Capitals held off the Carolina Hurricanes for a 4-3 win at PNC Arena on Friday.

The rookie is the second goaltender in NHL history to win at least each of his first eight starts on the road. Brent Johnson won his first 10 starts (11 games) on the road with the St. Louis Blues from Feb. 26, 1999 through Jan. 13, 2001.

"That's OK, I like it with the shots at my net," said Samsonov, who made 18 saves in the first period. "It doesn't matter where (the game) is played. I'm feeling comfortable playing at home or on the road."


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Hurricanes highlights]


Evgeny Kuznetsov and Lars Eller each had a goal and an assist for the Capitals (28-9-5), who had lost two straight in regulation for the first time this season.

"[Samsonov] was, no question, the first star tonight," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "His emotional control never changes. I think it allows our team to not get too derailed. He was outstanding."

Video: WSH@CAR: Eller collects puck off end boards for PPG

Teuvo Teravainen and Ryan Dzingel each scored a power-play goal in the third period for the Hurricanes (24-15-2), who had won two in a row. Petr Mrazek made 25 saves.

"Seems like every time we play them that's pretty much how the games go," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said. "Pretty tight, lots of scoring chances. We just didn't find a way to pull it out."

Teravainen cut Washington's lead to 4-2 at 6:35, scoring on a one-timer after Sebastian Aho got the rebound of Andrei Svechnikov's initial shot in the slot.

Dzingel made it 4-3 at 12:35 when he took a pass from Martin Necas and beat Samsonov glove side from the slot.

Video: WSH@CAR: Dzingel brings the Huricanes closer

"It's never over," Eller said. "They got a little bit of help with the penalties, giving them a little bit of room. All of a sudden, it's a game again. It was a little self-inflicted for us, giving them power plays, so we lost a bit of a step there."

Carolina continued to pressure in Washington's zone before Dougie Hamilton took a roughing penalty on T.J. Oshie with 2:44 remaining in regulation.

Richard Panik gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 2:58 of the second period. His initial backhand attempt was stopped by Mrazek, but the rebound redirected off Hurricanes defenseman Brett Pesce into the open net.

Video: WSH@CAR: Panik scores after puck goes in off defender

Kuznetsov extended the lead to 2-0 with a tap in on the power play after receiving a backdoor pass from John Carlson at 5:07. The goal came 25 seconds after Samsonov stopped Hamilton on a breakaway.

"I think that breakaway when [Samsonov] stopped it and we got the goal right away, that gave us a lot of momentum," Kuznetsov said.

Jordan Staal scored 39 seconds into the third period to cut it to 2-1 on a redirection of Pesce's point shot.

Video: WSH@CAR: Staal deflects Pesce's shot into the net

Eller pushed the lead to 3-1 at 2:29, scoring at the right post after Ovechkin's shot caromed to him off the end boards, and Jakub Vrana converted a cross-ice pass from Kuznetsov to make it 4-1 at 4:51.

"You can't get down 4-1 against the Capitals, that's the bottom line," Dzingel said. "We can't get ourselves in that hole."


They said it 

"Almost every night [Samsonov] is playing, that's his level. I think he's passed all the expectations you could think of for that young of a rookie goaltender. It's not easy. Sometimes (he doesn't) play for two weeks and he comes in and delivers. I can't think of a game where he didn't play well." -- Capitals forward Lars Eller

"Even when we lose, they're hard losses. We're right there. You could arguably say we could have won that game. I like this group, how they come to work. They don't quit. It's pretty positive." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour


Need to know 

Ovechkin remains two goals from tying Teemu Selanne (684) for 11th place in NHL history. … Washington reached 60 points in 42 games, tied for second-fewest in its history (39 games in 2015-16). … Vrana's goal was his first in 11 games. … Svechnikov had two assists and has 40 points (17 goals, 23 assists) in 41 games this season. Only Ron Francis (32 games in 1981-82; 28 games in 1982-82) has reached 40 points in fewer games as a teenager in Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers history.


What's next 

Capitals: Host the San Jose Sharks on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; ESPN+, SN, TVAS, NBCSWA, NBCSCA, NHL.TV)

Hurricanes: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; ESPN+, FS-CR, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: Kuznetsov, Eller lead Capitals to 4-3 victory

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