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Canes blow past Capitals 5-0

Eric Staal, Dennis Wideman

The Carolina Hurricanes celebrate a goal by Eric Staal (12) as Washington Capitals’ Dennis Wideman (6) skates by during the third period of an NHL hockey game in Raleigh, N.C., Monday, Feb. 20, 2012. The Hurricanes won 5-0. (AP Photo/Karl B DeBlaker)


To some, disappointments like tonight’s 5-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes are just par for the course for the Washington Capitals these days.

Whether you consider it surprising or not, it was a missed opportunity for the Caps. With more regulation and/or overtime wins to their credit, the Capitals had a chance to take the Southeast Division lead but were instead embarrassed.

As much as the headlines will focus upon how much Tomas Vokoun, Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green and other Capitals struggled, Carolina deserves some credit too. Kirk Muller has that team playing like a playoff team in the last 12 games as they went 7-2-3 in their last 12 games.

Eric Staal stood out in particular tonight, with two goals (including a shorthanded beauty) and an assist. Justin Peters generated the first shutout of his NHL career.

There might be some rumblings of a dream playoff run for Carolina, but logic says that the team will play the role of spoilers. It’s looking like they’ll be a dangerous threat in that regard, then.