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Capitals beat Hurricanes 5-2 in preseason finale

October 5, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP) — Troy Brouwer and Brooks Laich each had a goal and an assist and the Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-2 on Sunday in their preseason finale.

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Jason Chimera and Alex Ovechkin also scored for the Capitals (5-3). Brooks Orpik and Matt Niskanen each had two assists.

Jiri Tlusty had a goal and an assist and John-Michael Liles also scored for the Hurricanes (2-5), who lost forward Jeff Skinner early in the first period after a hit from Niskanen.

Skinner fell to the ice after taking Niskanen’s forearm to his head following a faceoff in the Capitals end. Skinner was able to skate off, but Carolina announced he wouldn’t return because of an upper-body injury.

“I talked to Skinny. He says he feels fine,” Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. “He’ll get reevaluated tomorrow and we’ll go through the (concussion) protocol.”

Peters was asked what he saw on the play that put Skinner out.

“Well, maybe (Niskanen) got the forearm up a little high,” Peters said. “I just looked at it once in between periods real quick. I haven’t looked at it again. Other people can look at that and make a determination.”

There was no penalty called on the play.

“The puck popped out to him and he had his back to the net,” Niskansen said. “I was closing on him and was getting ready to defend him, and he did like a spin-around shot and he spun his face right into my elbow. I could feel it.

“I didn’t even have time to hit him, he just spun right into me. I hope he’s OK.”

The 22-year-old Skinner won the Calder Trophy as the rookie of the year in 2010-11. Last season, he led the Hurricanes with 33 goals.

Carolina is already missing Jordan Staal, sidelined 3-4 months with a broken leg.

“It’s out of my hands, out of his hands,” Peters said. “It happened and now it’s in the hands of the trainers and medical people and they’ll make a determination.”

Braden Holtby made 19 saves for Washington. Carolina’s Anton Khudobin stopped 33 shots.

The Capitals will open the regular season Thursday night at home against Montreal. Carolina will start play Friday night at home against the New York Islanders.

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