Justin Williams, the old pro, scored again Saturday as the Carolina Hurricanes topped the Washington Capitals 4-1 for their third preseason victory.
Williams played for the Caps the past two seasons before signing as a free agent with the Hurricanes in July. He returned to Capital One Arena in Washington to give the Canes a 1-0 lead on a first-period power-play goal.
Williams has played in two preseason games and given the Canes the lead in both. But the Canes (3-1 preseason) also got key contributions Saturday from goalie Cam Ward, who had a solid 60 minutes in net, and younger players fighting for roster spots such as defenseman Trevor Carrick and forward Julien Gauthier.
Carrick had a goal and assist and was named the first star of the game. Gauthier, one of the Canes’ two first-round draft picks n 2016, scored in the third period with a power move for a 3-1 lead.
Canes coach Bill Peters said Carrick has been effective and physical in both of his preseason games, saying he “plays hard, plays with some bite.”
Defenseman Justin Faulk had an empty net goal for a 4-1 lead. Faulk, making his first preseason appearance, was paired Saturday with Jaccob Slavin.
Forward Valentin Zykov, another player getting in his first preseason game, had two assists.
“I thought we were better as we went along and built a game,” Peters said. “I thought the third period was our best period and some of the young guys settled down and started to play, and showed what they’re all about in the third.”
Ward stopped 23 of 24 shots, allowing only Alex Chiasson’s power-play goal in the first period. The Canes’ initial plans were to try and get goalie Scott Darling into Saturday’s game, but Darling is scheduled to be the starter Monday against Edmonton.