The Capitals had killed 29 straight penalties before today's game. Clearly, the penalty killers had been worn out by that streak. After Tomas Fleischmann took an early second period hooking penalty, Carolina's Andrew Ladd was robbed via a fantastic save by Kolzig. But, Matt Cullen put in a rebound shortly after for another PP goal and tied it at 2-2. At 5:21, Tom Poti got the urge for 2:00 of alone time. So, he crosschecked his way into the 4th consecutive Washington penalty. With nobody willing to clear players from in front of the net anymore, it only took Erik Cole 35 seconds to send in another PP goal. Kolzig had no chance to stop it, and the 'canes were up 3-2. At 6:27, Fleischmann had a wide open Carolina net right in front of him, but he fanned on his shot attempt. But, at 8:47 Brooks Laich hit the back of the net for a Cap's PP goal. Poti seemed to remember what his job was, as he made a few big hits just after the midpoint of the game. However, when Erskine and his teammates failed to clear the puck again, Eric Staal put the 'canes back ahead by one. After being taken on by Tim Conboy and Scott Walker at the same time seconds earlier, Brashear sent a hard shot in on Carolina's net. Ward made the stop, but had to check behind himself to make sure.
Early in the third period, Erskine and his partner couldn't control traffic in front of Kolzig. Andrew Ladd's short side, sharp angle wrister went in top shelf. Then Viktor Kozlov, who had just made a nice hit at the end boards, high sticked Tim Gleason. What a shame, he had been working his ass off the whole game. I can't remember him putting in any greater effort before. Carolina's recent trade acquisition, Joe Corvo put the final nail in the coffin with the Hurricanes' fourth PP goal at 7:44. It was pretty obvious that coach Boudreau had become desperate by this point. He actually gave Ovechkin extra ice time, sending him out on the next penalty kill. I'm sure he was hoping for a Washington goal. But, he was probably also replacing one of the defenseman who had become useless for today's game. In case you're new to Cap's hockey, Ovie's the team's best hitter as well as the NHL's best goal scorer. After going down on the ice making multiple saves, Olie Kolzig destroyed his goalie stick over the crossbar of his net. The Hurricanes' fans delighted in Olie's very justified frustration. At 15:40 into the third period, Kozlov rocketed a shot so hard it removed Cam Ward's goalie stick from his hands. That would end up being as close as the Cap's were going to get to scoring another goal.
Washington screwed up an important opportunity. The undefenders screwed their goaltender, Kolzig. The trade value of some players took a serious hit. The Capitals are now six points behind the division leading Hurricanes in the southeast. If I were Kolzig, I'd probably beg Bruce Boudreau to put Brent Johnson in net for tomorrow's home game against the New Jersey Devils.