Carolina Hurricanes Split Season Series With Caps

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WASHINGTON, DC – JANUARY 13: Petr Mrazek #34 of the Carolina Hurricanes makes a save against the Washington Capitals in the first period at Capital One Arena on January 13, 2020, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

When the Carolina Hurricanes Needed a Wall the Most, It Wasn’t There.

There were precisely two times in the entire contest that the Carolina Hurricanes needed Petr Mrazek to come through more than any other, and it didn’t happen. The first was on Alex Ovechkin’s first tally, a result of a net-front turnover by Martin Necas, right onto the stick of the Russian Dynamo. It was Ovi’s 685th career goal, unseating Teemu Selanne for 11th most career goals (684).

The second time was on the powerplay when Ovechkin would score his 686th career goal on the powerplay. It is also Ovi’s 258th powerplay goal, putting him within seven of unseating Brett Hull for most career powerplay goals (265). These two goals were also Ovechkin’s twenty-seventh and twenty-eighth of the season.

Despite giving up these two to the Russian Machine, the Czech native would pull some of the most defiant acts of goaltending we have seen this season for the rest of the game. Including a dandy, to borrow from John Forslund’s (@JohnForslund) lexicon, that came against a Washington breakaway early in the third period. I wish I could link the NHL.com video directly in the article, or a tweet with it. No such tweet exists, unfortunately.

The biggest takeaway from tonight isn’t that Petr Mrazek gave up those two goals, but that he was the only reason the Canes had anything resembling a fighting chance. There were numerous times he came up big, including the highlight reel save, that prevented the deficit from reaching three or more goals. While he eats the loss, the Hurricanes didn’t drop the game because of his performance.

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