They’ve changed divisions but one thing about the Carolina Hurricanes’ games against the Washington Capitals has not changed: they’re still gritty rough matchups.

The two old Southeast Division rivals now members of the NHL’s new Metropolitan Division went at it Thursday at the Verizon Center. Once again there were hard checks hard shoves some elbows thrown fierce board battles and hard stares and glares.

The Hurricanes emerged with a hard-fought 3-2 victory at the Verizon Center getting the winning goal from Nathan Gerbe almost seven minutes into the third period and and strong determined game in net from goaltender Anton Khudobin.

The Hurricanes used second-period goals from rookie Elias Lindholm and Alexander Semin to force a 2-2 tie after two. When Gerbe struck in the third the Canes (2-1-1) had their first lead 3-2.

Gerbe again was relentless around the net fighting past fallen defenseman John Erskine to knock the puck past Caps goalie Braden Holtby. It was Gerbe’s third of the season and another score for the Jordan Staal line that has been so productive in the early season.

Things were tense at the end for the Canes. The Caps (1-3-0) pulled Holtby for an extra attacker and then the Canes’ Jordan Staal was called for delay of game. But the Canes held on for the win.

Khudobin was making his second start of the season and again was sound and solid for the Canes. Khudobn was the winner as the Canes topped the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 Sunday but faced just 18 shots in that game from the struggling Flyers.

The Hurricanes came into Washington off a 5-2 loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins on Tuesday in Carolina’s first road game. And he Caps had dominated the series in recent years especially in Washington going 7-1-2 on the 10 games at the Verizon Center before Thursday.

Canes coach Kirk Muller was looking for a strong start against the Caps but Washington led 1-0 after the opening period on Jason Chimera’s goal.

Lindholm’s first NHL goal will be memorable for the Swedish forward the fifth overall pick of the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Lindholm winged a shot from the slot toward the net the puck nicking the stick of Caps defenseman John Carlson and eluding Holtby for a 1-1 tie almost 13 minutes into the second.