Brind'Amour and Cole scored power-play goals less than two minutes apart in the second period, sending Carolina on its way to its fourth victory in five games. Brind'Amour scored for the fourth game in a row and extended his point streak to seven games.
Backup goalie John Grahame made 21 saves to earn his first win for the Stanley Cup champions since joining them in the off-season.
Brind'Amour, the Hurricanes' captain, entered the game tied for third in the NHL with 26 points. He assisted on Cole's opening goal, scored himself shortly thereafter to make it 2-0, assisted on Ray Whitney's goal early in the third period and ended the scoring with 1:47 remaining off a pass from Cole, who finished with three assists.
Brind'Amour and Cole each scored in the second period exactly 43 seconds after a Capitals player was sent to the penalty box. There was a smattering of boos from the crowd of 12,683 at the end of the period.
Whitney made it 3-0 for Carolina 5:33 into the third period, off assists by Brind'Amour and Cole. Richard Zednik, who missed Washington's previous six games with an injury, scored the hosts' goal on a power play with 10:32 left.
Grahame, a member of the U.S. team at the Turin Olympics, made his third start for Carolina since arriving as a free agent. He allowed a total of 10 goals in his previous two starts this season, both losses.
Cam Ward had started in Carolina's net each of the previous 11 games and 18 of the team's 20 this season entering Friday.
The Capitals killed off the first three power plays they faced Friday, but Carolina converted on the next two. Andrew Hutchinson and Brind'Amour swapped passes before Hutchinson sent the puck to Cole near the net. Cole swept the puck across his body and backhanded it past goalie Olaf Kolzig 14:49 into the second period to make it 1-0.
At the 16:35 mark, Cole sent the puck across the mouth of the goal, and Brind'Amour collected it and flicked a shot past Kolzig.
Capitals star Alex Ovechkin, the reigning rookie of the year, didn't have a particularly good showing in his 100th NHL game. Not only didn't he have a point - he didn't even register a shot through two periods, finishing with three.
Notes: Fathers of Hurricanes players joined the team on the road. ... Brind'Amour is the only Hurricanes player with a point in every victory this season. ... Four of Cole's seven goals this season have come against Washington. He had a hat trick in a 5-0 victory over the visiting Capitals on Nov. 9. ... Capitals captain Chris Clark missed the game after having three teeth knocked out when a puck hit him in the face Wednesday against Boston. D Jamie Heward was a healthy scratch. ... The Capitals assigned LW Tomas Fleischmann to Hershey of the AHL.