Wednesday, March 10, 2010 11:51pm
By Joe Beninati
With all the excitement associated with NHL hockey games that go to overtime, you can't help but love it when things wind up going the home team's way.Before this season began, Tomas Fleischmann had never scored against Carolina. He has two goals against them now and this most recent one gave Washington a hard fought victory tonight.The Hurricanes always play the Capitals close as they are considered the most intense of the division rivals. Even though these organizations have never met in the playoffs, this rivalry is supercharged from battling for division titles year after year.Alex Semin started the scoring this evening with a fancy backhanded finish on a breakaway less than three minutes into the contest. Mike Green was shooting well this evening as he bagged a pair of power play goals against veteran netminder Manny Legace. Legace has always had great reflexes and still does at age 37.
At the other end, 33-year-old Jose Theodore was tested severely at times and made several fine stops as dangerous Hurricanes like Ray Whitney, Eric Staal, and Brandon Sutter bore down on him. Theodore remained perfect against penalty shots in regulation this year when he stopped the young Sutter in the first period.Let's go back to Mike Green for a second...He will be blamed for coughing up the clearing pass that led to Tuomo Ruutu's second period goal. The Hurricanes did a nice job of taking away his options on that play. The boards were not available and his decision to play the puck to Nick Backstrom in the middle got him in trouble. The safest way would have been to drill that puck off the glass, but a skillful player like Green doesn't prefer that option.Jussi Jokinen's goal through a heavy screen forced OT after a scoreless third period. In extra time Eric Belanger showed off his passing game to find Fleischmann, joining a three-on-two rush. The game was over in a flash and these two teams collide again next week in Raleigh.The homestand ends Friday with Tampa Bay and we know the Lightning won't lay down in DC.