Raleigh, N.C. — The Carolina Hurricanes lost another forward — and won another playoff game.
“‘Next guy up’ has been the memo lately,” rookie Warren Foegele said.
Enough of them have stepped up to even their series with the Washington Capitals.
Carolina beat the defending Stanley Cup champions, 2-1, on Thursday night to square the series at two games apiece, with Teuvo Teravainen scoring the go-ahead goal with 27.9 seconds left in the second period.
Foegele scored 17 seconds in, giving him three goals in two home games, and Petr Mrazek made 30 saves for Hurricanes.
They lost another key forward to injury yet fed off the energy of the largest hockey crowd in PNC Arena history to win their second straight on home ice after routing Washington 5-0 in Game 3. Road teams have yet to lead — much less win — in this series.
“All we’ve done,” Hurricanes captain Justin Williams said, “is hold serve.”
Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal and Braden Holtby finished with 22 saves for the Capitals, who hadn’t lost consecutive games in regulation since late January but lost key forward T.J. Oshie “for a while” after he was hit by Foegele late in the third, coach Todd Reirden said.
Foegele received a boarding minor for his hit with 5:08 remaining that left Oshie doubled over in pain as he skated to the dressing room.
“It was a defenseless player that was quite a distance from the boards,” Reirden said. “It’s an extremely dangerous play, and he will not be with our team for a while.”
The ensuing power play gave the Capitals their best chance to tie it down the stretch, but Mrazek stopped a pair of bang-bang shots from Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson as the penalty expired.
Oshie had been moved to Ovechkin’s top line before the game in an attempt to shake things up after that Game 3 rout. The Capitals also moved Wilson down to Evgeny Kuznetzov’s second line.
Ovechkin called the two losses in Raleigh “a wake-up call for all of us.
“We can’t hope that one guy is going to make a save or score a goal,” he added. “You have to go out there and play your game. If you don’t want to do it, don’t play.”
Injuries have been a critical subplot during the series for the Hurricanes, who have lost three forwards in two games.
“We got way more injuries than they do,” Carolina coach Rod Brind’Amour said.
The latest to go down was Jordan Martinook, who appeared to sustain a right knee injury after his heel slammed into the boards while attempting a first-period hit on Dmitry Orlov in the offensive zone. Brind’Amour said he may have reaggravated a lower body injury that has nagged him for a while.
Martinook briefly returned later in the period but did not play after that. Rookie Andrei Svechnikov was in the concussion protocol after taking a punch from Ovechkin in Game 3 and physical forward Micheal Ferland also was out with an upper body injury.
But Teravainen and Foegele were at full strength — and the Hurricanes needed them.
Teravainen put the Hurricanes up 2-1 with 27.9 seconds left in the second. Sebastian Aho passed to Nino Niederreiter, who found Teravainen streaking down the center of the ice and he slipped the puck between Holtby’s pads for his first goal of the series.
“I don’t know what happened there,” Teravainen said. “I saw Nino get the puck, and I was a little open, so I just took a couple steps and I had a pretty good chance. … I just closed my eyes and put it in.”
That came after Ovechkin tied it at 1 with 9:25 remaining in the second and with 8 seconds left on a hooking minor to Teravainen. His one-time blast from the circle off a pass from Orlov got past a stickless Brock McGinn and by Mrazek.
Foegele, who scored the first two goals of Carolina’s Game 3 romp, immediately picked up where he left off and put them up 1-0 with the quickest goal they’ve ever scored in a playoff game. Carolina caught the Capitals with an early 2-on-nobody rush and Jaccob Slavin passed to Foegele, who scored into an open net.
“He’s a prototypical playoff guy,” Williams said of Foegele. “I feel like he’s kind of built for playoffs.”
►St. Louis 3, (at) Winnipeg 2: Jaden Schwartz scored with 15 seconds remaining to cap St. Louis' three-goal third period, giving the Blues a 3-2 lead in their Western Conference playoff series.
Ryan O’Reilly and Brayden Schenn scored earlier in the final period for the Blues, who host Game 6 of the best-of-seven series on Saturday. Jordan Binnington stopped 29 shots.
On the winning goal, Tyler Bozak sent a pass over to Schwartz, who redirected it out of the air past Hellebuyck.
Winnipeg was up 2-0 after the first period on goals by Adam Lowry and Kevin Hayes. Connor Hellebuyck made 26 saves as the Jets lost their sixth straight at home, including the regular season.
The Blues’ win marked the first time in 15 years, and fourth time overall, the road team has won each of the first five games in a seven-game series. According to a league stat, when a best-of-seven NHL playoff series is tied 2-2, the winner of Game 5 takes the series 78.8 per cent all time (205-55).
►(At) San Jose 5, Vegas 2: Tomas Hertl got San Jose off to the fast start that had been missing the past three games, Martin Jones came up with the big saves and the Sharks staved off elimination in Game 5 of their first-round series.
Hertl scored his first of two goals just 76 seconds into the game to give the Sharks their first lead since Game 1. Logan Couture, Barclay Goodrow and Joe Pavelski also scored to cut the Golden Knights’ lead in the series to 3-2 heading into Game 6 in Vegas on Sunday night.
Jones made 30 saves after getting pulled in two of the past three games, including a brilliant pad save midway through the third period to rob Reilly Smith’s attempt at the tying goal on a 2-on-1 after Vegas had cut it to 3-2 on Jonathan Marchessault’s power-play goal.
Fleury made 24 saves after a shutout in Game 4. Smith scored earlier in the game on a power play for the Golden Knights, who were hoping to eliminate the Sharks on their home ice for the second straight year.