WASHINGTON — Brooks Orpik scored less than two minutes into overtime, Alex Ovechkin had two assists and the Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 on Saturday to give the defending Stanley Cup champions a 2-0 lead in the first-round series.
The tone was set for a wacky afternoon when a rat fell out of a hallway ceiling during the Hurricanes’ pregame soccer match. The weird vibes lasted long after the dead rat was removed — from a questionable ejection for a check to the head to a shot off one goalie’s mask and another that went in off the other goalie’s backside.
Ovechkin assisted on goals by Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson to help put Washington up two games to none in a series for just the third time in the past five years. In perhaps his final NHL postseason, Orpik scored 1:48 into the extra period of the Capitals’ first overtime playoff game since they eliminated Pittsburgh in the second round a year ago.
Braden Holtby stopped 25 shots, and T.J. Oshie also scored. Holtby allowed goals to Lucas Wallmark, Sebastian Aho and Jordan Staal, the last on a Carolina power play with 5 minutes left in regulation.
Carolina goaltender Petr Mrazek rebounded from an inconsistent Game 1 to make 29 saves.
Game 3 Monday night in Raleigh in the Hurricanes’ first home playoff game since May 26, 2009.