Goal No. 718 also came against former Capitals teammate and countryman Semyon Varlamov, his supporting actor in the classic Russian spy This is SportsCenter ESPN commercial. Ovechkin hadn't been able to get his timing quite right on his trademark one-timer but didn't miss this time.
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They came into Friday with the fewest points in the West Division and are in danger of missing the playoffs in consecutive seasons for just the third time in franchise history.
"We were waiting for what seemed like it was the inevitable," Fehr recalled. "It wasn't a nervous wait, but it was a combination of a hope that we could escape it, combined with a thought that if it was going to hit us, then let it hit us so we can deal with it."
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The Hurricanes love them some nostalgia -- I mean, Rod Brind'Amour is the coach and Justin Williams just retired after his second tour with the franchise -- so it wouldn't be a shock if Staal returned.
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In the second period, Carlson trailed the rush and the Flyers were not paying attention to him as the puck entered the zone. Three Flyers were back trying to defend the rush and all three were caught watching the puck as Jakub Vrana skated to the goal line. He then made a slick backhand pass through the seam to the trailing Carlson who had snuck his way into the high-slot. Carlson had plenty of time to one-touch the puck into the net to beat Elliott.
“We’ve been scoring, that’s been good,” Laviolette said. “I’d like to see us give up a little bit less. I don’t feel like sometimes it’s coming through [in high] quantity. It’s not like we’re taking on a lot of heat lately with regards to shots on our net and stuff like that but there’s definitely things that we can do better. There’s been some goals off the rush and some extra-attacker goals and stuff like that so I’d like to see it cleaned up just a little bit.”