Game 2: Washington Capitals
Power play conversion: 1-for-4 (25%)
This much-anticipated rematch from last spring’s playoffs didn’t start well for the Carolina Hurricanes or their power play. Their first man-advantage opportunity yielded decent puck movement early, and a tricky shot from Sebastian Aho that tested Capitals’ goaltender Braden Holtby. It also saw Washington winger Tom Wilson get a good shorthanded opportunity that was thwarted by James Reimer. All of that occurred before the power play was cut short by an interference call against Haula.
The Hurricanes got their next chance in period two. Despite winning the faceoff and displaying some solid initial possession, Carolina made too many poor passes and was kept to the perimeter. An offsides call late in the power play quashed any hope of setting up again, giving the Capitals momentum coming off of the kill.
In the third period, with the Hurricanes trailing 2-0, the boys from Raleigh received another shot at life when Radko Gudas was called for interference. This power play showed some beautiful passing with Teuvo Teravainen finding Haula on the doorstep, giving him his second goal in as many games.
Their final opportunity of the night came less than five minutes later. Honestly, that’s really all there is to say. The Carolina Hurricanes were completely unable to set up in the offensive zone, and the Capitals ended up with a shorthanded 2-on-1 that failed to produce a shot.
Yes, the Hurricanes displayed some phenomenal passing which led to a very important goal, but they showed many of the negative traits that have long plagued them. There were too many rushed and telegraphed passes. They didn’t create many openings to exploit and they didn’t give the penalty killers too much grief overall. Thankfully, it didn’t derail them.