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Posted at 11:44 PM ET, 12/26/2010

Caps beat Hurricanes 3-2, Mathieu Perreault suffers a broken nose

By Katie Carrera

Granted this was viewed from afar, but the Capitals needed another strong game after two days off to continue moving forward after snapping out of the December doldrums. They appeared to get just that on Sunday night in snow-covered Raleigh with a 3-2 win over the Hurricanes.

It was a contest spurned by strong even-strength play and another good showing by the penalty kill, which went a perfect 4 for 4 and held the Hurricanes to only two shots when they were on the man-advantage.

After a slightly sluggish start, Washington was able to do something not seen often lately by taking an initial lead when Mathieu Perreault flicked a shot past Cam Ward's blocker side after a pretty feed by Alexander Semin.

But unfortunately for Perreault that would be the only shot he'd take on the Carolina net. He left the game with 1:06 remaining in the first period after absorbing a hit by Tim Gleason that broke his visor. According to the team, Perreault has a broken nose and is day-to-day. His participation will depend on his ability to breathe.

Gleason received a five-minute penalty for charging and a 10-minute game misconduct on the play. It's a bad break for what had been a good stretch of games for Perreault, with three goals in four games with a plus-2 rating.

--There were some bounces that went against the Caps at RBC Center - see the puck bouncing off the boards directly to the faceoff circle for Tuomo Ruutu to fire in the net for the Hurricanes' second goal in the third period. But they also finally got some bounces that went their way, including when the puck ricocheted off a body in front and to Alex Ovechkin for his first goal since Dec. 6.

Much like Mike Green letting out a sigh after he snapped his goal-scoring drought against the Penguins, Ovechkin looked up after his tally as if to say, "Finally."

--Ovechkin also made a very nice play to pick up the loose puck in the neutral zone and turn the play in the opposite direction toward the Hurricane net in the second period. Ovechkin made a move to get himself around Carolina defender Jamie McBain, who had been stuck out late on a shift, and the puck slid into open ice where Steckel was able to corral it and let go of a shot that beat Ward glove-side to give the Caps a 2-1 lead.

--After the game, Coach Bruce Boudreau told reporters that the decision for a switch in net came because Michal Neuvirth was "sore after the warmup." Semyon Varlamov "went in and you just knew he was chomping at the bit because Neuvy had played the last three games," Boudreau said.

--I'll have more from KCI tomorrow where the Capitals are scheduled to practice in the morning.

By Katie Carrera  | December 26, 2010; 11:44 PM ET
Categories:  Alex Ovechkin, Carolina Hurricanes, David Steckel, Mathieu Perreault  
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Next: Alex Ovechkin's strong game against the Hurricanes

Comments

It's a 2 point night!. Nut breakers butt shakers!

Posted by: LloydChristmas | December 27, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

stecks made a great couple of plays to set up the ovie goal. too bad stecks went for the slap shot and not another wrister when he was set up on the right wing.

Posted by: Joe901 | December 27, 2010 12:44 AM | Report abuse

@joek

Did you actually try to compare Shanahan to BB. Mike Shanahan has won two superbowls, BB will not win the cUp. He will also not coach in the NHL again, once all the details of his idiocy are revealed after the firing. He looks like a goof on HBO.

Boy, does Backtrom not want to play for this guy or what ?

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 27, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

Boy, I wish Backstrom would show some of the same "spunk" those Stokholm tournament fans were dishing out. Smoke Bombs ????????????????????????????????????

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 27, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

Boy, I wish Backstrom would show some of the same "spunk" those Stokholm tournament fans were dishing out. Smoke Bombs ????????????????????????????????????

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 27, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

MP got a nice "welcome to the NHL cheap shot", too bad the Caps didn't make them pay on the PP. Hopefully, this is the start of a huge win streak.

Posted by: chriscaps | December 27, 2010 4:00 AM | Report abuse

Did you actually try to compare Shanahan to BB. Mike Shanahan has won two superbowls, BB will not win the cUp.
---------------------------------------

Yes, because they're both "my way or the highway" type of coaches. I think they would both rather lose doing it their way than win doing it someone else's way.

Posted by: joek443 | December 27, 2010 7:21 AM | Report abuse

Boy, does Backtrom not want to play for this guy or what ?

Posted by: Hunterforcoach | December 27, 2010 1:23 AM | Report abuse

I think the answer is "what." Of course he does.

I'm sorry but this is just comical.

Posted by: Justafan | December 27, 2010 7:33 AM | Report abuse

Katie wrote: "Much like Mike Green letting out a sigh after he snapped his goal-scoring drought against the Penguins, Ovechkin looked up after his tally as if to say, "Finally." "

I think that Ovie usually looks up after scoring as a tribute to his older brother (who is no longer alive.)

Caps looked pretty sloppy, imo, especially in the first period, but they WON, and Ovie scored and got an assist, which will help build confidence. Varley had a great game, but the Caps need their injured players to get well and back on the ice.

Posted by: dccitizen1 | December 27, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

I thought it was decided that The Stanley Cup will no longer be referred to as the cUp on these boards. :)

Posted by: j3rockstar | December 27, 2010 8:46 AM | Report abuse

"see the puck bouncing off the boards directly to the faceoff circle for Tuomo Ruutu to fire in the net for the Hurricanes' second goal in the third period."

Ahhhh... No. See Ruutu be in front of the net and get a lucky deflection off a point shot from Jay Harrison.

Posted by: Hunter21 | December 27, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

Sorry... top of the circle, not the true point. But I was making a point that the D did had 2 in front of the net, 1 high and 2 others on the other side of the ice. No one was anywhere near Harrison or the other Cane that were sitting on that side... Bad lapse... The Caps had a mental lapse and they paid. I still feel the deflection was a lucky bounce... But it, once again, brings home the point that if you put pucks on the net... good things can happen

Posted by: Hunter21 | December 27, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

So glad that Ovie scored. I personally think the pressure of being captain is what's taking so much of the playfulness and joy out of his game. He already had enough pressure. I had preferred Laich to be chosen as captain, for reasons including command of the language, but it seemed that the team "could not "not" choose Ovie."

Does anyone remember how Jim Carey flamed out as goalie, ages ago, after he was over-promoted and oversold, even appearances with the actor of the same name - of course Ovie's talent is greater and more lasting, but still....

Posted by: Baystater1 | December 27, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

chriscaps

Cheapshot? The hit looked clean to me, all shoulder with Gleason's elbow low. Gleason can't help that MP is only 5'8" or so. I thought it was a horrible call.

Never the less, great divisional win and nice to see OV pot one.

Posted by: FLDave | December 27, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

"It was a contest spurned(sic.) by strong even-strength play and another good showing by the penalty kill, which went a perfect 4 for 4 and held the Hurricanes to only two shots when they were on the man-advantage."


@Katie:


Spurned:

–verb (used with object)
1. rejected with disdain; scorned.
2. treated with contempt; despised.
3. kicked or trampled with the foot.


Spurred:

-verb (used with object):
2. Goaded, impelled, or urged, as to action, speed, or achievement; incited or urged on.


Just saying.

Good job overall, though.

Posted by: Rhino40 | December 27, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

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