Skinner gets 3; Hurricanes top Capitals 4-3 in OT

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 2, 2014 at 9:58 pm •  Published: January 2, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes and Washington Capitals compressed most of their excitement into a four-minute span.

We score; you score. You score; we score. Sort of like one of those mini-games with the peewee players that are sometimes featured during intermission.

Both coaches were aggravated, to say the least, but Carolina's Kirk Muller was in a better frame of mind about the whole thing because his team eventually won, taking a 4-3 victory in overtime Thursday night on Jeff Skinner's third goal of the game.

"Yeah, it's not what coaches are wanting to see," Muller said with a chuckle. "Tonight it just looked like just whenever someone made a mistake, it was in our nets."

With Washington's Dmitry Orlov out of position, Skinner decided the game when he took a pass from Ryan Murphy to cap a 3-on-1 break at 1:20 of the extra period, giving the Hurricanes their second straight win after a five-game losing streak.

The goal seemed far removed from the whirlwind stretch early in the second period, when five players scored goals and Alex Ovechkin missed a penalty shot — all in 3 minutes, 45 seconds.

It was a brand of don't-leave-your-seat hockey that's become all too familiar for the Capitals, who have a knack this season for letting up after scoring a goal.

"I know it's exciting for the fans," said Troy Brouwer, who scored for the Capitals during the goal cavalcade. "I know it's a fun game to watch, but we've got to be able to calm it down. Whenever we score a goal — we had a couple of big goals that put us ahead there — we've got to be able to build off that and make sure that we're not giving them opportunities right away. It's been a problem all year."

Skinner's second hat trick in less than a month gives him 19 goals for the season. Manny Malhotra also scored for the Hurricanes. With Cam Ward out with a lower body injury, Anton Khudobin made 38 saves in his first start since Oct. 13. Khudobin had been out with a lower body injury and was recalled Tuesday after a two-game conditioning assignment in the AHL.

Ovechkin, skating on a new line with Eric Fehr and Mikhail Grabovski, broke a four-game point-less streak with his NHL-leading 31st goal before missing his penalty shot. Brouwer and Steve Oleksy also scored for the Capitals, who have lost three straight and five of six.

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