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National Hockey League
Washington 4, Carolina 2
When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, April 11, 2019
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
Referees: Trevor Hanson, Brad Meier
Linesmen: Jonny Murray, Tony Sericolo
Attendance: 18506

Nicklas Backstrom scored two of Washington's three first-period goals, and the Capitals held off a late Carolina rally for a 4-2 victory over the visiting Hurricanes in Game 1 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series Thursday night.

The Capitals, who won the first Stanley Cup in franchise history last spring, took a 1-0 lead in the series with the victory. Game 2 is set for Saturday afternoon in Washington.

Backstrom had multiple goals for the third time in his playoff career, coming just over three minutes apart in that opening period. Alex Ovechkin also scored in the first period, and John Carlson notched a hat trick of assists, getting helpers on all three first-period goals. That tied the NHL record for most assists in a period of a playoff game.

Lars Eller added an empty-net goal, and goalie Braden Holtby finished with 27 saves. The Hurricanes outshot Washington 29-18.

The Capitals struggled on offense early, as Carolina slowed them through the neutral zone, but that eventually changed. Washington needed several minutes to get its first shot on goal.

Backstrom scored the first goal 9:58 into the period. He fired a long shot over the glove of goalie Petr Mrazek to give Washington a 1-0 lead.

Backstrom struck again on the power play just over three minutes later, thanks to a great pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov near the right boards. Backstrom took the pass, which made its way through traffic, and buried it from right in front.

Ovechkin then made it 3-0 with 1:55 left in the period, also on the power play. A loose puck got knocked around in front of the Carolina goal, bounced over to him, and he shot it past Mrazek.

Carolina finally got on the board when rookie Andrei Svechnikov scored 5:07 into the third period. The Hurricanes the cut the lead to 3-2 when he got a second goal a little over two minutes later, making Svechnikov (19 years, 16 days) the youngest player with multiple goals in a playoff game since 1997.

Washington needed to kill off two penalties in the final nine minutes and play solid defense. Eller locked it up with an empty-net goal with 37 seconds remaining.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
 
Carolina   Washington
Andrei Svechnikov 2 Points John Carlson 3
Andrei Svechnikov 2 Goals Nicklas Backstrom 2
Lucas Wallmark 2 Assists John Carlson 3
N/A Power Play Goals Nicklas Backstrom 1
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Petr Mrazek .824 Save Percentage Braden Holtby .931
Petr Mrazek 14 Saves Braden Holtby 27
Team Stats Summary
 
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Carolina 29 2 0-3 2-4 8 39
Washington 18 4 2-4 3-3 6 28
Upcoming Games
  • Washington will play their next game at home against Carolina. The Capitals have a W/L % of .571 after a win and .606 after a loss.
  • Carolina will play their next game on the road against Washington. The Hurricanes have a W/L % of .556 after a win and .568 after a loss.