Capitals Rally for Shootout Win, Milano Nets Hat Trick

Capitals Rally for Shootout Win, Milano Nets Hat Trick

In a thrilling encounter that could shape the Eastern Conference playoff race, the Washington Capitals rallied from a 4-2 deficit to defeat the Carolina Hurricanes 7-6 in a shootout on Friday night.

Sonny Milano stole the show with his first NHL hat trick, including a remarkable goal where he juggled the puck on his stick and batted it into the net. Alex Ovechkin continued his scoring tear with his 846th career goal, moving him closer to Wayne Gretzky’s all-time record.

The Capitals’ comeback was sparked by John Carlson’s goal early in the third period, followed by Connor McMichael’s tally minutes later. Dylan Strome sealed the victory with the lone goal in the shootout.

Carolina, who had won five straight games, was led by Sebastian Aho’s hat trick. Jaccob Slavin, Brady Skjei, and Seth Jarvis also scored for the Hurricanes.

Goaltender Charlie Lindgren was a key factor in the Capitals’ victory, making seven saves in the third period and overtime after replacing Darcy Kuemper. Pyotr Kochetkov allowed six goals on 25 shots for Carolina.

The win moves the Capitals one point behind Detroit for the second wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference and two points behind Philadelphia for third place in the Metropolitan Division. They have played one fewer game than both teams.

Carolina, a potential first-round playoff opponent for Washington, suffered only their second loss since acquiring Jake Guentzel and Evgeny Kuznetsov at the trade deadline.

Kuznetsov, who was traded from Washington to Carolina two weeks ago, received a standing ovation during and after an emotional video tribute.

The Capitals were without injured forwards T.J. Oshie and Aliaksei Protas and played their first game without winger Tom Wilson, who is serving a six-game suspension.

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