The Carolina Hurricanes went into Tuesday’s game against the Washington Capitals with a chance to move into playoff position in the NHL’s Eastern Conference.
The Canes did just that, taking over the second wild-card position, but not quite the way they wanted.The Caps took a 5-4 victory on Alexander Ovechkin’s goal at 1:57 of overtime at PNC Arena.
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Both the Canes (18-13-8) and Islanders, who lost to the Boston Bruins, have 44 points but the Canes, with a game in hand on the Isles, took over the wild-card spot.
Ovechkin, whose 25th goal had tied the score 4-4 in the third period, scored after the Canes’ Sebastian Aho had a shot go off the post.
Center Victor Rask had a pair of goals for the Canes — his first multi-goal game since March 2016. The first score came after as bad Caps turnover and second on a second-period power play when Rask beat goalie Braden Holtby with a shot from the top of the slot.
The Canes then scored twice in 84 seconds in the third period for a 4-3 lead. Elias Lindholm scored from between the circles and Teuvo Teravainen knocked a loose puck past Holtby after a strong forechecking shift by Aho.
But Ovechkin tied the score 4-4 with his 25th of the season after a Canes turnover.
The Caps, the Metropolitan Division leaders entering the game, led 2-1 after the first period and 3-2 after two. Forwards Alex Chiasson and Devante Smith-Pelly had the first-period goals, and defenseman Dmitry Orlov scored in the second period.
Orlov beat Canes defenseman Jaccob Slavin to a hard bounce off the end boards and popped the puck past goalie Cam Ward for a 3-1 lead.
Rask gave the Canes an early 1-0 lead with an alert play. When Caps defenseman John Carlson was careless with a pass in the defensive zone, Rask picked it off in the low slot and beat Holtby for his ninth of the season.
The Caps caught the Canes in a defensive change later in the period to tie it. Chandler Stephenson got the puck past the Canes’ Justin Faulk along the left boards and then found Chiasson alone crashing the net when defenseman Haydn Fleury — back in the lineup after being scratched the past five games — was late picking up Chiasson.
Ward don’t get any help on the Caps’ second goal Smith-Pelly. With the Canes late in sorting things out in the defensive zone, Smith-Pelly brought the puck into the right circle and unloaded a shot for his sixth of the season.
Things turned a bit ugly late in the first period when Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik rammed Canes center Derek Ryan from behind along the boards for roughing penalty. Canes fans booed Orpik, whose hit from behind on former Carolina forward Erik Cole in 2006 resulted in a broken neck and has not been forgotten.