WASHINGTON

Capitals Beat Hurricanes 3-2 to Clinch Playoff Spot

The Capitals are heading back to the playoffs.

Nic Dowd scored on a deflection with 4:56 remaining and the Washington Capitals clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night.

Brett Connolly and Jakub Vrana also scored and Braden Holtby made 24 saves to help the defending Stanley Cup champions reach the 100-point mark for the fifth straight season and wrap up their 11th spot in the playoffs in 12 years. Alex Ovechkin — with 49 goals — was held off the score sheet and missed a long shot toward an empty net with about 45 seconds remaining.

Warren Foegele and Nino Niederreiter scored for the Hurricanes. They lost consecutive games in regulation for the first time since mid-January and missed out on an important two points that would have helped their chase for their first playoff berth in a decade.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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