The Carolina Hurricanes struck first, but the Washington Capitals responded with six unanswered goals including two from Dmitry Orlov in a 6-1 win on Monday.
How it happened: Jordan Staal put Carolina up early with a power play goal, but it was all downhill from there for the Hurricanes. Dmitry Orlov took a slap shot that deflected off the stick of Staal and into the net to tie the game. The Caps were in the face of Carolina goalie Cam Ward the rest of the night and he struggled against the screen. A long-range wrister from Justin Williams found the back of the net thanks to a screen from Marcus Johansson and Orlov scored his second of the game in the second period with Lars Eller right in Ward's face. Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie and Lars Eller all would tack onto the lead.
What it means: The Capitals extended their point streak to 14 games and earned their 12th win in 13 games. It is their first regulation win over Carolina in three games this season and improves their record within the Metropolitan Division to 9-5-5. The win also gives Washington a two-point lead over Columbus for the top of the division.
Hosting dads: The Caps just wrapped up their mentor’s trip, but there were still plenty of dads on hand as the Hurricanes brought theirs. This was the third time this season the Washington played host to another team’s dads’ trip. The other two teams were the New Jersey Devils and Toronto Maple Leafs. The Caps are now 2-0-1 with the other team’s dads in attendance.
Rough start: Coming into Monday’s game, the Caps had scored first in 10 consecutive games, the last four of which came off the stick of Andre Burakovsky. That streak came to an end as Staal scored just 4:39 into the game. Washington responded nicely, however, as they led 2-1 at the end of the first period. When leading after the first, the Caps are now 21-2-3 this season.
Restoring power: Washington finished the game with one power play goal on two opportunities. The Caps have struggled on the power play for much of the season, but they seem to be turning things around. With Orlov's goal Monday, Washington now has at least one power play goal in five straight games and in eight of their last 11. The Caps have scored nine power play goals in the last eight games.
Hockey smile: If you play hockey long enough, you're bound to lose some teeth. Burakovsky nearly did on Monday. In the first period, Andre Burakovsky fell to the ice while skating with the puck. Defenseman Noah Hanifin tried to sweep check the puck, but his stick connected with the face of the falling Burakovsky. You can see the play here. He was later seen bleeding and handing a folded piece of gauze to the training staff so it was speculated that he had perhaps lost a tooth. He later told Al Koken that the grill was fine and he had just suffered a cut in the mouth.
Big guns: Washington's offense just keeps right on rolling. The Caps have now scored at least four goals in eight straight games. It is also the fourth time in the past six games Washington has scored at least six goals.
Until we meet again: Washington and Carolina will meet again on Tuesday, Feb. 7. That game will also be at Verizon Center.
Look ahead: The Caps have a quick turnaround with a game in Ottawa on Tuesday. They will then play the Devils in New Jersey on Thursday in the final game before the All-Star break.