Carolina Hurricanes Fall to Washington Capitals After Big Blown Call

Mar 15, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack (31) reacts after giving up the game-winning goal against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 15, 2016; Washington, DC, USA; Carolina Hurricanes goalie Eddie Lack (31) reacts after giving up the game-winning goal against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Carolina Hurricanes showed up and battled in a very impressive away against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night, but a controversial call was the defining moment of their 2-1 overtime loss.

1. 109. Final. 2. 19

A great showing from the Hurricanes will likely be overshadowed by a highly controversial call on Washington’s overtime goal. Here’s how it happened.

More from Cardiac Cane – The Good and Bad of the Hurricanes

Scoring Summary

1st Period

No Goals

2nd Period

WSH Goal (1:30) – Justin Williams (21), assisted by Jason Chimera (17)

A former Hurricanes broke the ice for the Caps. Chimera threw the puck on net from a bad angle along the boards, and Williams, who was camped out in front of Lack, got his stick on it and deflected it into the net.

CAR Goal (10:50) – Jordan Staal (18), unassisted

A remarkable individual effort tied the game at one. Jordan Staal drove the puck into the zone, threw the puck on net, the shot got blocked, and he drove through a defender to get the rebound and snipe the puck top shelf on Holtby.

3rd Period

No Goals


WSH Goal (1:38) – Alex Ovechkin (42), assisted by Evgeny Kuznetsov (50)

The Caps took away the big extra point in overtime. Kuznetsov drove into the zone with the puck and got the puck down low, and he fed the puck to a wide-open Ovechkin in front, and he sent the puck top shelf past Eddie Lack.

Three Stars

1st Star – Braden Holtby, G (WSH) – 26 shots against, 25 saves, .962 save percentage

2nd Star – Eddie Lack, G (CAR) – 31 shots against, 29 saves, .935 save percentage

3rd Star – Justin Williams, RW (WSH) – 1 goal, +1, 4 shots, 15:39 TOI


A great game ended with controversy in the nation’s capital.

A young group of hockey players suited up for the Carolina Hurricanes, including a pair of AHL’ers making their season debut in Brody Sutter and Trevor Carrick.

Carolina Hurricanes
Carolina Hurricanes /

Carolina Hurricanes

The Canes were tough on the road against the league’s top team. Their defense, whose average age was 21.5 years old, played an incredible game, headlined by another strong game from the likes of 21-year-olds Jaccob Slavin and Brett Pesce.

The two rookies combined for 45:22 of ice time. Slavin led the way for Carolina with 22:50 time on ice, and Pesce was a close second with 22:32. They both played at an extremely high level in their own and in the transition game getting the puck up the ice. They combined for four takeaways and just one giveaway.

Eddie Lack had a big night in goal, making 29 saves on 31 shots. He was calm and composed in a tough environment. He had great rebound control and was able to shutdown the Capitals throughout the evening.

The shame of Tuesday night’s game was the fashion in which it ended.

Capitals forward Evgeny Kuznetsov entered the offensive zone while seemingly fumbling the puck. The puck went off of his stick and went behind his body as his body proceeded into the offensive zone. Kuznetsov then picked the puck up and went on to set up Ovechkin for the game-winner.

The call sparked controversy, and rightfully so. The player lost possession of the puck then regained possession after he entered the zone. After a review, the conclusion was that he had possession, even though countless replays and images will beg to differ.

The NHL came out with an “explanation” of the call, which did very little in supplying us with answers.

The call was wrong. That’s not to say that the Hurricanes would have won the game, but the two teams should have at least played out the remainder of this game until a real winner emerged.

What made matters worse was that Carolina’s Jeff Skinner went into the Capitals’ zone in nearly the exact same matter just minutes earlier in period three, and it was called offside by the same linesman that determined the overtime goal was a good goal. It’s also worth noting that Kuznetsov watched the replay on the Verizon Center video board during the official review, and he went on to slam his stick in anger, knowing he was offside.

It’s unfortunate that the game ended like it did, but you can’t change what happened. It was an atrocious call that could be very costly to the Hurricanes as we get closer to the end of the season and the playoff race in the East continues to intensify.

Hopefully the outcome of this game will not overshadow the fact that the Hurricanes played an incredible hockey game against an incredible hockey team.

Next: Sutter has Earned His Call-Up

What’s in the past is in the past, and now the Carolina Hurricanes will travel to the Pennsylvania to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night. It will be a hugely important game for the Canes as they look to keep their playoff hopes alive.