NHL: Washington 5, Carolina 3

April 2, 2013 at 10:32 PM

RALEIGH, N.C., April 2 (UPI) -- Washington's Alex Ovechkin pumped in two goals and helped out on another Tuesday, aiding the Capitals' playoff hopes with a 5-3 win over Carolina.

Mike Green also scored twice for surging Washington, which won for the fifth time in seven games and moved within two points of Southeast Division-leading Winnipeg.

Nicklas Backstrom distributed four assists as the Caps also crept to within three points of the eighth playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

Braden Holtby turned aside 31 shots for Washington.

Carolina, meanwhile, slumped to its ninth defeat in 10 games despite a hat trick from Jiri Tlusty.

Dan Ellis returned from an injury absence but didn't play well, getting the hook early in the second period after yielding three goals on seven shots.

Justin Peters turned aside 10-of-12 shots the rest of the way.

Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen was taken off the ice on a stretcher in the second period after crashing into the boards while trying to beat an opponent on a potential icing call.

Pitkanen, 29, was taken to an ambulance with an apparent leg injury.

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