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Hurricanes special teams sink Capitals

(Reuters) - The Carolina Hurricanes scored three goals on special teams, including two by Jussi Jokinen, as they shutout divisional rivals the Washington Capitals 3-0 at the RBC Center on Friday.

Jokinen opened the scoring in the first period on a shorthanded breakaway after Eric Staal had forced a turnover with team mate Justin Faulk in the penalty box.

The Finnish left winger doubled the advantage to the delight of the home fans with a power-play goal late in the second period.

Jokinen has scored three goals in his last three games after enduring a 25-game goalless drought dating back to November 20.

"Being an offensive player like me, I need to score goals for this team to win," Jokinen told reporters. "Lucky I got that goal on Sunday. Now it's been going better, so I hope I can keep going."

Jiri Tlusty completed the scoring with a stunning power-play goal in the final minute of the game, the Czech center rounding Capitals goalie Tomas Vokoun and sliding the puck into the net.

"We had our chances again, but today you can tell by the stats that special teams killed us," Capitals coach Dale Hunter said.

"They scored two power-play goals and they scored shorthanded. Our power-play, we gave up five or six scoring chances. We made bad decisions with the puck and it cost us."

Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward had little difficulty stopping all 23 shots from the Capitals for his second shutout of the campaign to help Carolina (17-24-8) claim a first win over their Southeast division rivals in four attempts this season.

Mike Knuble and Cody Eakin had the two best chances for the Capitals (25-19-2) and while the puck eluded Ward on both occasions, the goal posts came to the Hurricanes' rescue.

(Reporting by Mike Mouat in Windsor, Ontario; Editing by John O'Brien)