NHL Hockey

Capitals know they need more to get past Hurricanes in Game 7

(AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

The Washington Capitals have a simple goal -- they want to win back-to-back Stanley Cups. If they want to keep that dream alive, though, they'll have to find a way to beat the visiting Carolina Hurricanes in Game 7 of the first-round Eastern Conference series Wednesday night.

Washington won last year's Stanley Cup with stifling defense, timely goals and solid play all around. Plus, the Capitals trailed in all four series but rebounded to win. In this series, though, the Metropolitan Division champions often have been outplayed by Carolina, and that's why it's tied at three games apiece.

Carolina's ferocious physical play has made it tough for Washington to establish its offense and clear the puck on defense. The Capitals have done better in these areas in the past two games, but the Hurricanes came through again and scored a 5-2 victory in Game 6 on Monday at home to even up the series.

Washington turned in a strong performance in a 6-0 victory Saturday at home in Game 5 but struggled at times in Game 6. Carolina's aggressiveness certainly bothered the Capitals during various stretches of the last game once again.

Simply put, the Capitals have to play better if they want to advance.

"I think we needed a little more from all of our players," Washington coach Todd Reirden said after Game 5. "For us, with losing a player like (T.J.) Oshie a couple of games ago, we needed everyone's game to be at a higher level. I think we had that in Game 5 at home. We didn't have that tonight from enough people."

The top line of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson have played well, but the Capitals need something more from Evgeny Kuznetsov. He hasn't nearly been the factor he was in last year's playoffs, and the Capitals can use his help on offense. He hasn't scored a goal yet in this series.

Carolina has gotten a great series from Warren Foegele, who scored his fourth goal in the six games during Game 6. Dougie Hamilton and Jordan Staal also have pitched in, along with Teuvo Teravainen.

Staal gave the Hurricanes a 3-2 lead with a goal in the third period on a great individual effort. Teravainen also scored and Staal finished with a goal and an assist.

Carolina coach Rod Brind'Amour said that a big reason for his team's success is that their big guns have come out firing, and that's something he considers crucial.

"Obviously it's not that easy," he told the media after Game 6. "But we've said all along, your best players have to be your best players all year, but in the playoffs especially. Those guys obviously contributed and had big games."

Goalie Petr Mrazek had another good game Monday night. He made some tough saves from in close when the Capitals got their scoring chances, kept the Hurricanes in it early, and that let them take over late.

Andrei Svechnikov (concussion) did not play again for Carolina, and his status for Game 7 was not known as of Tuesday. Micheal Ferland (upper-body injury) also was out again for Carolina in Game 6, however both forwards skated Tuesday, which was a day off for Carolina. Svechnikov and Ferland also skated Monday ahead of Game 6. Oshie is done for the season after being injured in Game 4 (broken collarbone).

Another factor in Game 7 might be home ice. Through the first six games, the home team has won each contest. The Capitals hope the loud red-clad fans in Washington will help them keep their dream alive in the series finale.

--Field Level Media

Updated April 23, 2019

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Teams Score Time
NCAA FB
NC State   12:00pm
Boston College  
Duke   3:30pm
Virginia  
North Carolina   3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
NHL
Carolina 2 00:00 2nd
Anaheim 4
Teams Score Time
Pittsburgh 27 F
Syracuse 20
Ohio State 52 F
Northwestern 3
Auburn   12:00pm
Arkansas  
Clemson   12:00pm
Louisville  
Florida   12:00pm
South Carolina  
Georgia Tech   12:00pm
Miami  
NC State   12:00pm
Boston College  
Purdue   12:00pm
Iowa  
West Virginia   12:00pm
Oklahoma  
Wisconsin   12:00pm
Illinois  
Duke   3:30pm
Virginia  
LSU   3:30pm
Mississippi State  
Minnesota   3:30pm
Rutgers  
North Carolina   3:30pm
Virginia Tech  
Oregon   3:30pm
Washington  
Temple   3:30pm
SMU  
Tulsa   3:30pm
Cincinnati  
UL Monroe   3:30pm
Appalachian State  
Baylor   4:00pm
Oklahoma State  
Missouri   4:00pm
Vanderbilt  
Arizona State   6:00pm
Utah  
Kentucky   6:00pm
Georgia  
Kansas   7:00pm
Texas  
Florida State   7:30pm
Wake Forest  
Michigan   7:30pm
Penn State  
Tennessee   9:00pm
Alabama  
Boise State   10:15pm
BYU  
Teams Score Time
American League
Houston 1 9th
New York 4
New York   8:08pm
Houston  
Teams Score Time
Washington 112 F
Philadelphia 93
Toronto 123 F
Brooklyn 107
Houston 144 F
Miami 133
New Orleans 117 F
New York 116
Memphis 91 F
San Antonio 104
Los Angeles 55 00:00 Half
Golden State 71
Teams Score Time
Arizona   Sun 1:00pm
New York  
Houston   Sun 1:00pm
Indianapolis  
Jacksonville   Sun 1:00pm
Cincinnati  
Los Angeles   Sun 1:00pm
Atlanta  
Miami   Sun 1:00pm
Buffalo  
Minnesota   Sun 1:00pm
Detroit  
Oakland   Sun 1:00pm
Green Bay  
San Francisco   Sun 1:00pm
Washington  
Los Angeles   Sun 4:05pm
Tennessee  
Baltimore   Sun 4:25pm
Seattle  
New Orleans   Sun 4:25pm
Chicago  
Philadelphia   Sun 8:20pm
Dallas  
New England   Mon 8:15pm
New York  
Teams Score Time
Colorado 5 F/OT
Florida 4
Dallas 2 F
Pittsburgh 4
New York 2 F
Washington 5
Columbus 2 F/OT
Chicago 3
Detroit 1 F
Edmonton 2
Carolina 2 00:00 2nd
Anaheim 4
Vancouver   1:00pm
New Jersey  
Montreal   3:00pm
St. Louis  
Boston   7:00pm
Toronto  
Colorado   7:00pm
Tampa Bay  
Dallas   7:00pm
Philadelphia  
New York   7:00pm
Columbus  
Ottawa   7:00pm
Arizona  
Vegas   7:00pm
Pittsburgh  
Florida   8:00pm
Nashville  
Calgary   10:00pm
Los Angeles  
Buffalo   10:30pm
San Jose  
MONSTER ENERGY NASCAR CUP SERIES AT TALLADEGA
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 12 Ryan Blaney 9
2 6 Ryan Newman 13
3 11 Denny Hamlin 40
4 10 Aric Almirola 5
5 34 Michael McDowell 22
6 3 Austin Dillon 20
7 32 Corey Lajoie 33
8 9 Chase Elliott 1
9 17 Ricky Stenhouse Jr 7
NASCAR XFINITY SERIES AT DOVER
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 00 Cole Custer 3
2 7 Justin Allgaier 8
3 22 Austin Cindric 2
4 11 Justin Haley 11
5 98 Chase Briscoe 1
6 1 Michael Annett 16
7 9 Noah Gragson 7
8 23 John Hunter Nemechek 17
9 8 Zane Smith 10
NASCAR GANDER OUTDOORS TRUCK SERIES AT TALLADEGA
Pos # Name Start Pos
1 20 Spencer Boyd 25
2 4 Todd Gilliland 6
3 51 Riley Herbst 7
4 24 Brett Moffitt 8
5 52 Stewart Friesen 10
6 16 Austin Hill 13
7 17 Tyler Ankrum 2
8 88 Matt Crafton 1
9 2 Sheldon Creed 5