Series (Game 4 of 5)

Washington leads 4-1

Game 1: Thursday, October 17th
Game 2: Friday, January 10th
Game 3: Wednesday, January 22nd
Game 4: Friday, February 14th
Game 5: Sunday, March 2nd

Capitals 1

(27-22-3, 64 pts)

Hurricanes 3

(18-28-6, 48 pts)

7:00 PM ET, February 14, 2003

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 T
WSH 0 0 11
CAR 1 0 23

K. Weekes (Hurricanes - G): Saves: 30, Save Pct.: .968

C. Adams (Hurricanes - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. Hlavac (Hurricanes - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Weekes stops 30 of 31 shots to end skid

RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes are wondering where this game was a month ago.

 Kevin Weekes

Craig Adams, Jan Hlavac and Jeff O'Neill scored, and Kevin Weekes snapped a personal 11-game losing streak in net as the Hurricanes beat the Washington Capitals 3-1 Friday night.

Carolina broke a seven-game losing streak as Weekes, now the team's No. 1 goalie after Arturs Irbe was sent to the minors this week, stopped 30 of 31 shots.

"Our guys were outstanding tonight in a lot of different areas," Weekes said. "When the guys came up with that type of inspired effort, couple that with the fans' enthusiasm, I just basically rode shotgun and just tried to contribute something to the puzzle."

More than 17,000 fans came out to cheer a team that had lost 14 of 15 and is well out of the playoff race after winning the Eastern Conference title a season ago.

"That was incredible," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said. "You could have put up a pretty good argument they could have been unfriendly. They were so good to the team when we came out that the guys just fed off of that."

O'Neill notched his team-leading 21st goal of the season with 7 seconds left into an empty net.

Southeast Division-leading Washington is the second-highest scoring team in the East, but managed just a goal by Michael Nylander with 7:54 left after scoring five in the first period at Atlanta on Wednesday night.

The Capitals could have gone 20 points up on the defending division champs in the standings, but came up with a lackluster performance.

"We weren't ready to play," Washington coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We had a sloppy workout (Thursday). It's not so much going down 1-0, but it's giving them the mind-set that they can beat you because lately we've had their number. They've been reeling, but we gave them life."

Adams' fourth career goal in 134 games early in the first stood up until Jan Hlavac scored 6:50 into the third for the struggling Hurricanes, who won for just the third time since Dec. 22.

That was the date of Weekes' last win -- a 1-0 shutout of Dallas. His 11-game losing streak was a franchise record.

Early on, the Hurricanes carried the play to the sluggish Capitals, who are in the middle of a four-game road trip.

Adams gave Carolina the lead when he beat Olaf Kolzig with a high shot as he raced down the left wing on a two-on-one with Nic Wallin.

Kolzig kept Carolina's lead at 1-0 late in the first when he robbed O'Neill from in close with a glove save halfway through the Hurricanes' first power play.

"We've been playing well enough to get the first goal," Maurice said. "It wasn't like, 'Geez, we got one let's hang on to it because we may not get another.' The guys felt pretty confident they were playing as hard as they could.

"Sometimes when they see that over five minutes, they get a little pride in themselves and feel good about themselves and they get better."

After a 1-0 lead, Weekes took over with a super second period.

He robbed Jeff Halpern with a sprawling leg save 33 seconds into the period, stymied Robert Lang on a two-on-one break five minutes later and stopped Jaromir Jagr from in close with 4:55 left.

"They went to the (Stanley Cup) finals for a reason last year," Washington's Mike Grier said. "They've got guys who have a lot of pride and want to finish the year strong. It wasn't surprising to us. We just didn't match their emotion early."

Game notes
Carolina led at the end of the first period for just the 11th time in 58 games. ... Ryan Bayda went scoreless in his NHL debut with Carolina, playing on the team's top line with Ron Francis and O'Neill. ... Washington allowed a first-period goal for the first time in five games. ... The Capitals failed to move seven games over .500 for the first time since April 2001. ... Pavel Brendl's assist on Carolina's second goal was his first point with the team since being traded from Philadelphia for Sami Kapanen a week ago.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press