The opening 10 minutes at Verizon Center on Thursday night couldn’t have been much uglier for the home team. Out of sorts, turning the puck over and hemmed in their own zone, the Washington Capitals were out-shot 14-0, down by a goal and in search of a way to wake up against the 14th-place Carolina Hurricanes.

As the Capitals proved, though, sometimes it’s possible to regroup against a struggling opponent and overcome an ugly start as though it never happened.

Braden Holtby overcame initial unease to finish with a regular season career high of 43 saves, Troy Brouwer scored two goals and Mike Green added a goal as Washington recovered in the final 50 minutes to capture a 3-1 win.

“I remember looking up at the scoreboard and the shots were outrageous and we had nothing,” said Green, who scored the go-ahead goal in the second period. “We just got back to our system. And we kind of strayed away from it there at the start, we started to buy into their sort of run and gun game, and that’s not how we play. Once we settled down, we played our game.”

It marked Washington’s sixth straight victory and its 10th in the past 12 games.

The win pushed the Capitals to 46 points as well, allowing them to maintain a two-point lead on the Winnipeg Jets, who captured their third straight win in a 7-2 triumph over Florida on Thursday night, for first place in the Southeast Division.

The importance of each game and pair of points down the stretch to preserving Washington’s place atop the division made it all the more important to shake the sluggish start.

For the opening 10 minutes, Washington resembled nothing like the confident team that had reeled off wins through clean execution and poised play in recent weeks as it chased the puck and Hurricanes.