WASHINGTON (WNCN) – Rookie winger Andrei Svechnikov scored twice in the third period, but Carolina couldn’t complete the comeback in a 4-2 loss in Washington in Game 1. The defending champions potted three goals in the first period on the way to the series-opening win.
Svechnikov put the Hurricanes on the board just over five minutes into the third period when he carried the puck along the right-wing boards, cut to the middle, and beat Capitals goalie Braden Holtby. The rookie scored less than two and a half minutes later when he hammered a one-timer off a cross-ice feed from Lucas Wallmark.
The Hurricanes had two chances on the power play Svechnikov cut the deficit to one. Lars Eller hit the empty net to put the game away in the last minute of the third.
Carolina outshot Washington 29-18.
Washington jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period, despite a sleepy start that saw the Hurricanes dominate the early goings. Nicklas Backstrom opened the scoring at the midway point of the period before notching his second while parked in front of Petr Mrazek on the power play.
Alex Ovechkin, who finished the regular season with a league-leading 51 goals, scored on Washington’s second power play to push the lead to 3-0.