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Caps rally, beat Hurricanes with 1.3 left

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Hurricanes learned a tough lesson over the past 1 1/2 weeks: No lead is safe on home ice against the Washington Capitals.

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Jay Beagle scored with 1.3 seconds remaining and the Capitals rallied to beat the Hurricanes 4-3 on Friday night.

Brett Connolly notched the tying goal with 3:08 left, and Alex Ovechkin added his NHL-leading 28th goal and two assists for the first-place Capitals, who lost to the Hurricanes a night before in Washington.

''It kind of had almost a playoff atmosphere, especially in the first, just seeing each other back-to-back,'' Beagle said. ''It kind of gets that little bit of hatred and little bit of rivalry going.''

Lars Eller scored on the power play and Philipp Grubauer stopped 36 shots to help the Capitals earn their second come-from-behind victory in Raleigh in less than two weeks. Washington won 5-4 in overtime on Jan. 2 on two late goals by Ovechkin.

''The character of the team, it shows it,'' Ovechkin said. ''Right now, we're starting to realize who we are. We have to work hard. It's not going to be easy.''

The Hurricanes got power-play goals from Jordan Staal and Sebastian Aho - with each player assisting on the other's goal - and an even-strength goal from Jeff Skinner.

''We had the opportunity to put a game away, we gave up ... two in the last three minutes,'' Carolina coach Bill Peters said. ''Would have been nice to lock it down and get the two points. Didn't happen.''

Carolina appeared headed for a sweep of the back-to-back series, but T.J. Oshie pressured All-Star Noah Hanifin into a turnover behind the net and Connolly snapped the loose puck between Cam Ward's legs.

Beagle then stuffed in a rebound past an outstretched Ward in the closing seconds.

With Ovechkin chanting his name in the dressing room and calling him a legend, Beagle said he was just ''crashing the net, eyes closed, and it hit my stick.''

The goal came moments after Carolina co-captain Jordan Staal appeared to take a high stick to the face, though no penalty was called, with Staal saying the officials ''chose not to call it.''

''Pretty obvious, right? Thirty-two seconds to go in the game, should be on the power play,'' Peters said. ''The power play's good tonight, you don't score there, you start 4-on-3 in OT.''

The game came hours after Carolina publicly introduced Dallas billionaire Tom Dundon as the new majority owner and successor to longtime owner Peter Karmanos Jr. Dundon took over control of the team Thursday after the sale closed.

Ward made 23 saves - including a tumbling gem midway through the third to rob Evgeny Kuznetsov - for Carolina, which was down a handful of regulars for the rematch of their 3-1 victory Thursday night .

Forward Derek Ryan didn't play after taking a hit from Tom Wilson the night before, defenseman Brett Pesce was placed on injured reserve earlier in the day and key forwards Joakim Nordstrom and Elias Lindholm were scratched with illnesses. Then, defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk and Klas Dahlbeck skated off after being hit in their legs with shots, though both players quickly returned.

''It shows the value of those guys'' on the penalty-kill unit, Peters said. ''They're unsung heroes, all of those guys.''

NOTES: Aho has goals in three straight games, and Staal has points in four straight. ... The Hurricanes recalled C Lucas Wallmark from their AHL affiliate in Charlotte to replace Pesce. ... RW Lee Stempniak made his season debut for Carolina. He missed the first half of the season with an upper-body injury. ... Washington recalled C Travis Boyd from its AHL affiliate in Hershey, but he was scratched.

UP NEXT

Capitals: After their week off, they visit New Jersey on Jan. 18.

Hurricanes: Wrap up a two-game homestand against Calgary on Sunday.

---

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