It wasn’t the Capitals best performance during this now seven game winning streak, even Coach Bruce Boudreau admitted they got a “little lucky” and weren’t “very sharp”, but Washington managed to find a way to clinch a 2-1 win over the Hurricanes. All of a sudden the Capitals are in second place in the Eastern Conference, three points ahead of the Boston Bruins and only two behind the Philadelphia Flyers.
Matt Hendricks scored the game-winning goal on what could be considered a quintessential hustle-play by the fourth liner to give the Capitals the lead they carried for the final 12:36 of regulation. It also snapped a 17-game goal scoring drought for Hendricks.
In the final seconds of a hooking penalty against Jason Arnott, Hurricanes defenseman Tim Gleason attempted a shot from the point on the power play. Hendricks blocked the shot and the puck bounced out to center ice where Arnott picked it up as he came out of the box.
Arnott raced down the ice and forced Cam Ward to make an excellent save, but none of the Hurricanes managed to pick up Hendricks, who had trailed the play the whole way down the ice. Hendricks was able to fish the puck out of the crease and pop it into the open net with Ward sprawled out on the ice having made the initial stop on Arnott.
“If there was going to be a rebound, I wanted to be the one to get it,” Hendrick said. “I just wanted to try to get it over his pad.”
Said Coach Bruce Boudreau: “That’s what he does. He’s going to get the dirty goals in the crease he’s not going to get the end to end goals I think it was his first one in 16 games. Im happy for him because he works really hard all the time he deserves some success offensively every now and again.”