Darcy Kuemper easily earns MVP against Hurricanes

Darcy Kuemper, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports
Darcy Kuemper, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals got a 2-1 win over the Carolina Hurricanes one night after falling to the Nashville Predators 3-1 with Charlie Lindgren in net. But last night’s game was more important in terms of a divisional matchup and a big answer from Darcy Kuemper.

Kuemper made 28 saves on 29 shots against the cold Hurricanes who have now lost six of their last eight games. That included stopping all seven shots in the first period and all 13 in the third.

In the second he stopped seven of eight, only letting one get by him. The Caps only other goal in regulation or overtime came from Martin Fehervary. The Caps only needed a goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov in the shootout to come away with two points and they got it.

Kuemper handled the rest by stopping Sebastian Aho, Tuevo Teravainen, and Seth Jarvis. He finished with the second star of the game and a .966 save percentage. Kuemper has won all three of Washington’s shootout games this season. He is 13 for 13 in shootouts in his career.

Kuemper also got help from a Caps penalty kill that was five for five on the night. He told Kurt Dusterberg of NHL.com:

"“I think for the team, it’s definitely a momentum builder. The penalty kill has been giving us life all year. To get a big four-minute kill to start a game like that kind of sets the tone for everybody else.”"

That four minute kill came on a double minor to begin the game as Nic Dowd was called for high sticking. In their previous three games the Hurricanes have gone four for nine on the power play.

The win puts the Caps one point behind the fourth place Hurricanes in the Metropolitan Division by just a point, improving their record to 15-9-4 and 34 points.

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The Caps are just two points behind the third place New York Islanders and they’ll face each other Wednesday night.