WASHINGTON (AP) — Tomas Fleischmann scored on a one-timer from the right circle with 1:40 remaining in overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Wednesday night.
The NHL-leading Capitals have earned a standings point in 15 straight home games and haven't lost at home in regulation in 2010. Washington had a franchise-record 13-game home winning streak snapped Wednesday night in a shootout loss to Dallas.
Defenseman Mike Green scored twice, Alexander Semin got his 31st, and Jose Theodore made 28 saves for the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin, tied with Sidney Crosby for the NHL goal-scoring lead with 44, was held without a goal but had two assists.
Carolina is the last team to beat Washington in regulation at the Verizon Center, winning 6-3 on Dec. 28 when the Hurricanes held the bottom spot in the Eastern Conference.
Jussi Jokinen scored his 27th goal, and Patrick Dwyer and Tuomo Ruutu also scored for the Hurricanes, who had won eight of their previous nine to climb out of the conference cellar.
The Capitals blew leads of 2-0 and 3-2 before pulling out the win. As many goals as they have scored this season, one would think they'd know how to celebrate. Yet here was the tally after the first period: two goals, two pratfalls.
After Semin scored with his backhand on a breakaway, sprung by a 50-foot pass from Brendan Morrison, the Russian wing lost his balance and spun awkwardly like a sausage, a bit of panic in his face as he slid toward the boards.
Then, when Green made it 2-0 with a wrister from the right circle on the power play, the defenseman skated to the corner and completely lost his footing, looking like a first-time skater at a community rink as his body plopped onto the ice.
The Hurricanes got on the scoreboard 18 seconds after Green's goal when Dwyer scooped in a loose puck by the crease. The Carolina's credit, everyone stayed upright during the celebration.
Chad LaRose picked off a pass in the Capitals' defensive zone to set up a 2-on-1 with Ruutu, who tied the score at 2 in the second period. Washington retook the lead when Manny Legace was screened by at least four people and let Green's wrister get through on a power play. Legace complained in vain for goalie interference, while Green celebrated his second goal of the game by pumping his fist — without falling over.
Jokinen's power-play goal, a wrist shot off a feed from Ruutu, tied the score at 3 late in the second.
NOTES: The game was the first between the Southeast Division rivals since the multiple trade deadline deals that sent Joe Corvo and Scott Walker to Washington and Brian Pothier and Oskar Osala to Carolina. All but Osala were in the starting lineups. ... Both goalies came in hot: Legace had won his last five starts with a 1.59 goals against average, while Theodore had stopped 53 of 54 shots in two starts since the Olympic break and had won 12 of 14 games with a 2.38 goals against average since Jan. 13. ... Theodore stopped a first-period penalty shot by Brandon Sutter, who was tripped from behind by Green while trying to score a short-handed goal.