The contest marked the first time three rookie defensemen have scored goals in a game since Toronto and Chicago did it on March 8, 1947.
Carolina rookies Jamie McBain and Bryan Rodney had first-period goals, and Washington rookie defenseman John Carlson also connected.
Alexander Semin also scored for the Capitals.
Washington outshot the Hurricanes 43-31.
Manny Legace was the winner in goal, while Semyon Varlamov took the loss.
Carolina took the lead at 2:11 of the first on a power-play goal from McBain, who beat Varlamov on a one-timer from the high slot. McBain has points in five of his first six NHL games.
Rodney doubled Carolina's lead at 9:09 when he scored from the slot on an even-strength rush for his first NHL goal.
Semin got Washington on the board at 1:43 of the second with a five-hole goal from between the circles for his 35th goal of the season. It was his 23rd goal in 29 career games against Carolina.
Carlson tied it at 2:12 of the third, beating Legace on an even-strength rush for his first NHL goal in his 46 games.
NOTES: Rookie defenseman Drayson Bowman was recalled from Albany of the American Hockey League. ... Washington has a club-record 109 points.