Published January 20, 2012
RALEIGH, N.C. – Jussi Jokinen scored two goals, Cam Ward made 23 saves for his 18th career shutout and the Carolina Hurricanes beat the Washington Capitals 3-0 on Friday night.
Jiri Tlusty added a late goal and Eric Staal had two assists, including the early hustle play that led to Carolina's eighth short-handed goal of the season.
They helped Carolina beat the Southeast Division-leading Capitals for the first time this season and defeat them in regulation at home for the first time in more than two years.
Tomas Vokoun stopped 30 shots for Washington, which had won four of five and entered 8-0-1 in its last nine against Carolina. The Capitals were 0 for 3 on the power play.
Ward earned his fourth career shutout against Washington.
He was impenetrable in his second shutout of the season and first since blanking Chicago in October. His best save might have come midway through the second period, when he froze while making a pretty glove save on Mathieu Perreault's slap shot, perhaps unsure of whether he actually had the puck.
Jokinen scored once on the power play and once when Carolina was down a man while once again playing his best against the Capitals. Four of his seven goals this season have come against them, including his team's lone goal in a 2-1 loss in Washington five nights earlier.
Jokinen would have had a hat trick by the second intermission — had Vokoun not used his glove to rob him on a breakaway with 7 1/2 minutes left in the second.
He put the Hurricanes up 2-0 in the final minute of the second. With 29 seconds left on an interference minor to Dennis Wideman, Jay Harrison fired a shot off Vokoun's pads and Jokinen sent a rebound past the goalie.
That came after Staal made the key play that led to the Hurricanes' first goal with 7:17 left in the first.
Hustling and forechecking on the penalty kill, the Carolina captain poked the puck from John Carlson just inside the blue line. Staal then tapped the puck to Jokinen, who was storming toward Vokoun and beat the goalie with a wrist shot that left Carlson whacking his stick on the ice in frustration.
NOTES: Staal has points in four straight home games. ... Only the New Jersey Devils (11) have more short-handed goals than the Hurricanes. ... Washington RW Mike Knuble rang the left post while facing an open net roughly 2 minutes into the second. ... Carolina C Jeff Skinner played his first home game since returning from a concussion that cost him 16 games.