Monday's NHL playoffs: Hurricanes shut out Capitals
Raleigh, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes waited 10 long years to finally bring the playoffs back to town. They almost seemed determined to cram a decade’s worth of goals and hits into one game.
Rookie forward Warren Foegele had two goals and an assist, Dougie Hamilton also scored twice and the Hurricanes routed the Washington Capitals, 5-0, on Monday night in their first home playoff game since 2009.
“We were relentless. We just kept going at them,” Hamilton said. “The crowd was unbelievable. It was one of the loudest buildings I’ve ever played in, and just so fun.”
Petr Mrazek earned his fourth career postseason shutout. Brock McGinn had a late goal and an assist, and Jaccob Slavin and Jordan Staal each had two assists.
The rapid-fire Hurricanes outshot Washington 45-18 to cut the defending Stanley Cup champions’ lead to 2-1 in the best-of-seven series.
Playing with just 10 forwards after losing two to injuries in the first period, Carolina effectively rolled with three lines the rest of the way and fed off an amped-up crowd releasing 10 years of pent-up frustration with every hit.
The result: Carolina’s most lopsided postseason victory since a 5-0 win over Edmonton in Game 2 of the 2006 Stanley Cup final.
“Absolutely electric,” captain Justin Williams said.
Mrazek finished with 18 saves in his fifth career playoff victory — the last four have been shutouts.
Braden Holtby stopped 40 shots for Washington, which had its six-game postseason winning streak snapped. The Capitals were shut out in the playoffs for the first time since 2017.
“We just stopped playing,” captain Alex Ovechkin said. “We can’t play like that if we want to win. We’re better than that.”
Washington won all four regular-season meetings with its longtime division rival — first in the old Southeast, now in the Metropolitan — before winning the first two games of this series on home ice.
The first postseason game in Raleigh since 2009 — when Carolina was swept by Pittsburgh in the Eastern Conference final — was a physical, borderline violent affair, headlined by Ovechkin’s first career playoff fight, one that sent Hurricanes rookie Andrei Svechnikov’s head crashing onto the ice and knocked him out of the game.
Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said he didn’t have an update on his 19-year-old forward.
“I thought we were engaged from the start, and we were physical,” Foegele said. “We all battled together. All 20 guys battled hard. … (Svechnikov is) our brother, and we stand up for each other. We knew we needed to get this win, not just for us, but for him.”
Svechnikov was one of two Carolina forwards to sustain upper-body injuries in the first 10 minutes — physical winger Micheal Ferland was hurt about 2 minutes earlier — and that left the Hurricanes’ bench short for the final 2½ periods.
There was nothing at all wrong with Foegele, who had his team’s first two-goal postseason game since Eric Staal in Game 4 against Boston in the second round in 2009.
Foegele’s first goal was a bit of a fluke — he was locked up in front of the net and was clipped by Justin Faulk’s shot from the point that got past Holtby — but there wasn’t anything cheap about his second one. He parked to the right of Holtby, took a feed from Sebastian Aho past a sliding Matt Niskanen and snapped the puck past the goalie to make it 2-0 with 13:51 left in the second.
“I think I play aggressive and I play hard,” Foegele said. “I love these moments. I think all of us love these moments. This is when it counts. This is when it matters. You just put in your full effort and hope for the best result.”
Foegele had a breakaway late in the second with a chance at the first postseason hat trick in club history, but Holtby stopped him — and then the rookie earned a slashing penalty for whacking the goalie’s chest and pads while reaching for the rebound.
By then, Hamilton had started his scoring binge, ripping a pair of power-play shots past Holtby, with his two insurance goals equaling his previous career playoff total.
►(At) Toronto 3, Boston 2: Auston Matthews scored his first goal of the playoffs and set up another as Toronto beat Boston to take a 2-1 lead in their Eastern Conference quarterfinal.
Andreas Johnsson, also with a goal and an assist, and Trevor Moore provided the rest of the offense for the Maple Leafs. Frederik Andersen made 34 saves.
David Krejci and Charlie Coyle scored for the Bruins. Tuukka Rask stopped 31 shots.
Less than an hour before puck drop, the Maple Leafs learned center Nazem Kadri had been suspended for the rest of the series for his vicious cross-check to the head of Bruins winger Jake DeBrusk in the third period of Game 2.
Game 4 is Wednesday night in Toronto.
►(At) Colorado 6, Calgary 2: Nathan MacKinnon scored twice in the first period and set up newly signed rookie Cale Makar’s first NHL goal in his debut as Colorado routed Calgary to take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.
Matt Nieto added a short-handed goal, and Mikko Rantanen and Erik Johnson also scored for the wild-card Avalanche, who built a 6-1 lead early in the third period and finished with 56 shots. Philipp Grubauer was credited with 27 saves.
MacKinnon had two power-play goals. But the goal of the night was turned in by Makar, the 20-year-old defenseman who was signed Sunday and jumped into Colorado’s postseason lineup two days after his college season ended when Massachusetts lost in the Frozen Four championship game.
Makar, who grew up a Flames fan in Calgary, was the fourth overall draft pick by the Avalanche in 2017.
It didn’t take long for him to make a big impact. He scored on his first NHL shot as his parents celebrated in the stands.
Sam Bennett and TJ Brodie scored for the Flames, the top seed in the Western Conference. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Denver.
►Nashville 3, (at) Dallas 2: Mikael Granlund scored on a wrist shot from just inside the blue line with 8:19 left and Nashville, after blowing a two-goal lead, beat Dallas for a 2-1 lead in their Western Conference series.
Granlund, acquired in a trade with Minnesota in late February, got the puck from Dante Fabbro after Kyle Turris won a faceoff against Stars captain Jamie Benn.
Rocco Grimaldi scored in his second game in a row for the Predators, and Filip Forsberg had a perfectly timed play for a goal. Pekka Rinne made 40 saves.
Tyler Seguin and Mats Zuccarello scored for the Stars.
After three consecutive one-goal games, Game 4 is Wednesday night in Dallas.