User ID
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Betting Tools

Caps stop Hurricanes for 6th straight win

New customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

WASHINGTON (AP) - A 22-point swing in 28 days between the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes.

Almost one month to the day after their playoff hopes appeared buried following a home shutout loss to the then-surging Hurricanes, the can't-go-wrong Capitals came full circle in the game of role reversal Thursday night, winning their sixth straight and extending free-falling Carolina's skid to seven with a 3-1 victory.

``It's funny how things kind of work themselves around,'' said Troy Brouwer, who scored a pair of goals. ``It's onto the other foot. They've had some struggles in the second half of the season, and we've been playing extremely good hockey.''

Brouwer and Mike Green scored second-period goals, Brouwer added an empty-netter, and Braden Holtby made 43 saves for the Southeast Division leaders, who remained two points ahead of the Winnipeg Jets in what has become a two-team race to win the NHL's weakest division.

How meager is the Southeast this year? The Capitals are 13-3-0 within the division and 9-14-2 against the rest of the league.

``Because of our division and the way the points are falling right now, it might be a division lead or we're out of the playoffs,'' Brouwer said. ``So to put that much more distance between us and a division rival is very important for us. ... We know they're on their last legs as far as making the playoffs.''

Jeff Skinner scored in the first period, and Justin Peters had 28 stops for the Hurricanes, who now trail the Capitals by 12 points - an incredible turnabout from the 10-point lead they held after a 4-0 win over the Washington at the Verizon Center on March 12.

``We definitely deserve a different fate over these past 12, 13 games,'' Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. ``It's not there, but this is a learning thing for them and we have to stay the course.''

It's almost impossible to exaggerate the changes in fortunes. The 4-0 loss was Washington's third straight - all by a three-goal margin or greater - and Nicklas Backstrom said the effort wasn't good enough, calling the team's play ``embarrassing.'' Carolina's Joe Corvo said the Capitals appeared to be lacking confidence.

It went from bad to worse for Washington, albeit temporarily, on March 14 when the Hurricanes took a 2-0 lead in a rematch in Raleigh.

But the Capitals rallied for a 3-2 win and have been nearly indestructible since. The victory started a 12-3-1 surge for Washington, while the loss kicked off a 1-13-1 dive for injury-depleted Carolina.

For 10 minutes on Thursday, it actually looked as though the Hurricanes were the playoff-bound team fending off the also-rans. Carolina was outshooting Washington 14-0 until Peters was finally tested by Alex Ovechkin's slap shot on a power play with 9:55 left in the first period.

The Hurricanes were able to get only one goal out of it, however, and it came on a 4-on-3 power play. Eric Staal's shot from the right circle yielded a juicy rebound for Skinner to give Carolina the lead.

Jay Harrison nearly made it 2-0 with a slap shot that actually beat Holtby in the final minute of the period, but defenseman John Carlson cleared the puck off the line after it trickled between the goalie's legs.

``I didn't know that we didn't have a shot the first 10 minutes,'' Carlson said. ``We were getting outplayed, but after a while we found ourselves only down one goal and obviously Holtsy was big for us in keeping us in the game until we got our own energy.''

It wasn't long before the Capitals were again the dominant team, and their shots tally caught up to Carolina's by midway through the second period. Mike Ribeiro set up Brouwer for a one-timer from the right circle during a power play, and Mike Green scored from nearly the same spot with a wrister high to Peters' stick side.

It was left to Holtby to hold the lead, and he was tested often in the third period. His last tough save came when he used his stick to deflect Jiri Tlusty's blast in the final 2 minutes, a different ending from that shellacking the Hurricanes gave the Capitals nearly a month ago.

``I can't even remember that - it's been so long, we've played so many games in such a short period of time,'' Washington's Matt Hendricks said. ``But we've really improved.''

Notes: Washington's winning streak is its longest since a seven-game run to open the 2011-12 season. ... While the 4-0 loss was a blight, the Capitals still won the season series 4-1.


Follow Joseph White on Twitter:

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

News: Grand Salami - November
Panthers surprise Sharks - again
Pacioretty lifts Habs over Blues, 4-1
Sens score 3 in 2nd, beat Predators 3-2
Zucker's goal lifts Wild past Flyers, 3-2
Ducks edge Canucks in SO, 4-3
Leafs top Lightning 5-2, 'over' connects
Red Wings edge Jets on the road, 4-3
Stars rally past Coyotes, 'under' hits
Why Buy Picks From
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NHL Hot Streaks
3-0, +312 Last Night, +1,561 TY
4-1 L5 G-Plays, 20-9 L29 Picks
15-6, +967 L21 Guarantees
+1,212 Net Profits This Year
11-5 Last 16 Selections
4-1, +435 Last 5, +1,091 TY Gold Membership
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 1561
Gary Bart + 1212
Dave Cokin + 1105
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 335
Gary Bart + 267
Tony Stoffo + 220
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 920
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Dave Cokin + 837
Kevin Rogers + 727
Joe Williams + 329
Yesterday's Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 312
Don Anthony + 107
Doc's Sports + 100
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kevin Rogers + 779
Bill Marzano + 563
Alex Smith + 466
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest