Jan 2, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes center Manny Malhotra (22) celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal against Washington Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer (31) in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Hurricanes Defeat Washington Capitals Behind Jeff Skinner

Jeff Skinner scored a hat trick to lead the Carolina Hurricanes to a 4-3 win in overtime over the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

Scoring Summary

Jeff Skinner had the lone goal of the first period as he scored on a cross-ice pass from Alexander Semin. Skinner couldn’t handle a rebound earlier in the two-man advantage, but was able to get it back.

The start of the second period was nothing like the first period as five goals were scored in less than five minutes.

Alex Ovechkin got the scoring started as he scored on a 1-on-1 on a wrist shot that deflected off Ron Hainsey‘s stick and beat Anton Khdobin high glove side.

Manny Malhotra would replicate a nearly identical goal, but without the help of a deflection, as he wristed a beautiful shot past Philipp Grubauer‘s glove less than a minute later.

Troy Brouwer scored on a rebound after the Hurricanes fourth line got outplayed by a tougher Capitals line.

Steve Oleksy gave the Caps a short lead as he took the puck from the point on an offensive face-off win, behind the net and out the other side before shooting the puck over Khudobin’s shoulder.

Skinner scored his second of the game on a rebound from a Ryan Murphy shot. The rebound went high on the air before coming back to the ice in front of the Caps net. Skinner scooped up the rebound and shot it over Grubauer’s glove.

That would be it for scoring in regualtion.

Skinner completed the hat trick 1:20 into overtime when he scored on a 3-on-1. Murphy slid the puck between a sliding Mike Green to the 21-year-old, who beat a stretching Grubauer.

Game Analysis: This was a great win for the Hurricanes. The game may been sloppy and the defense not perfect, but winning a barn-burner is always an exciting thing and it’s not something the Canes have excelled in.

We could talk all day about Skinner, but the fact is he’s been the Hurricanes’ best player and he showed why tonight. He scored opportune goals when the team needed them and even helped out in the defensive end.

Ryan Murphy had two assists and he was strong tonight, especially in the offensive end. If he keeps playing like that, he’ll be in the lineup over Mike Komisarek and Jay Harrison, when he comes back, every night.

Anton Khudobin had a good game, even if he let up three goals. He looked great in the first period and stopped an Alex Ovechkin penalty shot at an important time in the second period. Unfortunately, he let up a goal after that, but he did do enough to give the Hurricanes a chance at a win.

John-Michael Liles looked good on the power-play, but pinched on one play in the first period that led to a rush from the Caps. Nothing came of it, but it’s something that could happen from time-to-time with Liles.

This was the last game of the first half of the season and the Canes are going into the second half on a high note. Hopefully for the team that can continue.

Carolina returns home on January 5 to play Nashville. Be sure to get your Hurricanes tickets here.

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Tags: Carolina Hurricanes Jeff Skinner Ryan Murphy

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