Ray Whitney had a goal and three assists, and Rod Brind'Amour, Cory Stillman and Eric Staal also scored. The Hurricanes scored three goals in the second period and outshot the Capitals 41-26 to snap a two-game losing streak.
Alexander Ovechkin scored his team-leading 30th goal and Chris Clark added a goal on a deflection for Washington, which has lost five of six and is one point ahead of last-place Florida in the Southeast Division.
Cam Ward made 24 saves for the Hurricanes, who took a 3-2 series lead against the Capitals. Brent Johnson stopped 35 shots for Washington but allowed at least six goals for the second time this season.