Sure enough, it happened Tuesday night.
Called up to the big club last week after Cam Ward went down with a knee injury, Peters made 26 saves as the Hurricanes blanked the Capitals 4-0, taking the first leg of a key home-and-home series between the Southeast Division rivals.
"You're not going to fill Cam's void. Obviously, he's a top goalie in this league," said Peters, whose only previous NHL shutout also came against the Capitals — a 5-0 win on Feb. 20, 2012. "The only way we can try and fill it is a group effort from everyone in this room, and that's been our mindset the whole time."
Riley Nash scored twice — thereby tripling his career NHL total — ex-Washington defenseman Joe Corvo put one in off the goaltender's mask, and Patrick Dwyer added an empty-net goal for the Hurricanes, who have won six of seven and have a 10-point lead over the Capitals, whose struggles are one of the big surprises of the lockout-shortened season.
"I think if you watched them play tonight, it seems like they're missing maybe some confidence," Corvo said. "They're struggling a little bit."
Hard to argue with that. The Capitals have lost three straight — all by at least a three-goal margin.
"Just embarrassing, I think," Washington center Nicklas Backstrom said. "Our effort is not good enough. Especially if you're going to hunt that playoff spot, you can't play like this."
The Capitals were hoping to get back in the race with a sweep of the Hurricanes this week. Instead, the best they can do is a split when they visit Carolina on Thursday.
"You want to try and create space there," Peters said. "We were focused on tonight, coming in here and trying to do that. We've got to regroup now and try and have the same mindset coming into Thursday."
Bad penalties haunted the Capitals in their last two losses, but all of the Hurricanes' scoring came at even strength. The first one involved a pair of former Capitals — Corvo and Alexander Semin.
Corvo was near the boards when his shot along the goal line struck goalie Braden Holtby in the back and went in. Semin, booed throughout the game by fans frustrated by his moody play during seven seasons in Washington, had the primary assist.
"I was aiming for like the back of him, his back, anywhere up there," Corvo said. "And it just so happened to hit his head."
Semin went down twice early in the second period but stayed in the game. The first time came when he was struck by good friend Alex Ovechkin, who was taking a shot and hit Semin in the face with his stick during the follow-through. It was the most noteworthy moment of the night for Ovechkin, who didn't register a shot on goal.
Nash deflected Jay Harrison's shot from the edge of the left circle to make it 2-0 in the second period. Nash got his second goal later in the period after Dwyer outhustled Capitals defenseman Jeff Schultz to the puck to prevent an icing call. Nash trailed the play and was in the slot to take Dwyer's pass for the easy shot past Holtby.
Peters, who is sharing duties with Dan Ellis while Ward is sidelined, was on the top of his game. He made a reflex pad save on Marcus Johansson in the second period and later stymied Troy Brouwer on a short-handed breakaway.
The Hurricanes' blue line was injury-depleted when they were shut out 3-0 by the Capitals on Feb. 26. The reverse scenario played out Tuesday, with injuries forcing Washington to use three defensemen who began the season in the minors.
"It was kind of a twist of the last time we came in with all our injuries and all that, and such a young defense corps," Carolina coach Kirk Muller said. "We emphasized that we wanted to get pucks behind their D."
NOTES: Tom Poti (upper body), John Erskine (upper body) and Mike Green (groin) are among the injured Washington defensemen. D Cameron Schilling, recalled from Hershey of the AHL, made his NHL debut and joined Tomas Kundratek and Steve Oleksy as the Capitals blue liners who started the season in Hershey. ... Oleksy delivered a rarity — a good punch in a hockey fight. He rattled Drayson Bowman with a right hand to the face in the third period.
Sabres 3, Rangers 1
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Marcus Foligno scored twice and backup goalie Jhonas Enroth made 18 of his 32 saves in the third period of the Buffalo Sabres' 3-1 win over the New York Rangers on Tuesday night.
Enroth, who started because Ryan Miller was sidelined because of a sinus infection, earned his first victory since a 5-1 win over Washington on Nov. 26, 2011. He was 0-9-3 in 16 appearances since then.
Foligno's first goal made it 1-1 at 5:35 of the second period. His second gave the Sabres a 3-1 lead with 8:12 left in the game.
Thomas Vanek also scored for Buffalo (10-14-3), which returned home after going 0-2-2 on a season-high, four-game road trip.
Derek Stepan scored a short-handed goal for the Rangers (13-10-2), who lost for just the second time in seven games. Henrik Lundqvist made 19 saves.
PENGUINS 3, BRUINS 2
PITTSBURGH — Brandon Sutter scored twice in the final seven minutes to cap a furious rally, and Pittsburgh slipped past Boston.
Chris Kunitz started Pittsburgh's third-period surge with his 18th goal of the season, and Sutter beat Boston's Anton Khudobin twice in less than four minutes, including the game-winner with 2:03 remaining.
Marc-Andre Fleury stopped 14 shots for the Penguins, who broke loose late against the NHL's best defensive team and won their sixth straight.
NHL scoring leader Sidney Crosby had an eight-game point streak snapped.
Zdeno Chara and Tyler Seguin scored first-period goals for the Bruins. Khudobin made 31 saves, and the Bruins kept Pittsburgh's high-powered offense in check until the final minutes of a matchup between two of the Eastern Conference's best teams.
CANUCKS 2, BLUE JACKETS 1, SO
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Mason Raymond scored the only goal in the shootout, and seldom-used Roberto Luongo stopped 26 shots through overtime to lead Vancouver past Columbus.
Luongo, playing in his second game in 16 days, stopped all three Blue Jackets in the shootout.
Jason Garrison had the lone goal before overtime for the Canucks, who had lost four straight (0-2-2).
Mark Letestu scored Columbus' only regulation goal, but the Blue Jackets matched a franchise record by earning a point in an eighth consecutive game (5-0-3). Their five-game winning streak ended, one short of tying the franchise mark.
LIGHTNING 3, PANTHERS 2
SUNRISE, Fla. — Steven Stamkos snapped a third-period tie with his NHL-leading 20th goal, and Tampa Bay held on to beat Florida despite recording a season-low 13 shots.
Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis also scored for the Lightning, and Anders Lindback made 37 saves. St. Louis added had two assists for the Lightning, whose previous low for shots this season was 19.
Kris Versteeg and Tomas Kopecky had goals for the Panthers. Jacob Markstrom stopped 10 shots in the loss.
Stamkos scored the winning power-play goal from the right of the net 5:30 into the third. Tampa Bay won for just the second time in nine games, but beat the Panthers for the seventh straight time — three this season.
The reeling Panthers have lost seven of eight and 14 of 17.
BLUES 4, SHARKS 2
ST. LOUIS — Rookie Jake Allen made 39 saves, Chris Stewart led a balanced attack with two goals, and the St. Louis beat San Jose for the second time in three nights.
Brent Burns scored his first in his season debut at forward and Dan Boyle had a late power-play goal for the Sharks, who have lost four in a row and have dropped 10 of 12 to the Blues, including the first round of the playoffs last season.
The Blues overcame a two-goal deficit in a 4-3 overtime victory Saturday night in San Jose and clinched this one on Stewart's empty-netter with 1:16 to go.
Allen has won six of his first seven career NHL starts, also besting the Sharks in San Jose.
DUCKS 2, WILD 1
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Luca Sbisa scored the winning goal with 3:04 left in the third period, Jonas Hiller made 30 saves, and Anaheim rallied to beat Minnesota.
Patrick Maroon also scored for the Ducks, who have won four straight and have earned a point in eight consecutive games.
Devin Setoguchi scored for the Wild.
Minnesota couldn't put the Ducks away, and had its four-game, home-winning streak snapped.
The Wild got three power plays in the first period and cashed in on the third when Setoguchi scored to make it 1-0.
PREDATORS 4, STARS 0
DALLAS — Pekka Rinne made 32 saves for his NHL-leading fifth shutout of the season, and Shea Weber and Gabriel Bourque scored power-play goals to lift Nashville over Dallas.
Despite leading scorer Colin Wilson and top-six forward Patric Hornqvist being out because of upper body injuries, the Predators snapped a six-game, road-losing streak (0-5-1) on the first stop of a five-game trip.
Nick Spaling and Rich Clune also scored for the Predators, and David Legwand and Craig Smith both had two assists.
Kari Lehtonen made 17 saves for the Stars, who had scored at least three goals in 13 of 15 games. Dallas was shut out for the third time this season.
OILERS 4, AVALANCHE 0
DENVER — Devan Dubnyk stopped 36 shots for his first shutout in nearly a year and Shawn Horcoff scored a goal in his second straight game since returning from a broken knuckle, helping Edmonton beat Colorado.
Sam Gagner, Magnus Paajarvi and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins also scored for the Oilers, who went 3-4-2 on a nine-game road trip.
Dubnyk was in top form even after leaving early Sunday at Chicago with a neck injury following a collision with a teammate. He showed no lingering effects, stopping everything thrown his way for his fifth NHL shutout.
Colorado nearly scored on Dubnyk early in the third period, but Jan Hejda's goal was disallowed when Gabriel Landeskog was called for goaltender interference.
This was Colorado's first loss at home since Feb. 11.
The Oilers solved Semyon Varlamov, who has been hard to beat at home, where he is 8-3-1. Only Jimmy Howard of Detroit and Henrik Lundqvist of the New York Rangers have more home wins this season with nine each.
COYOTES 5, KINGS 2
GLENDALE, Ariz. — Mikkel Boedker scored twice and Phoenix took a four-goal lead en route to its second victory in a row and fourth in six games.
Shane Doan and Raffi Torres had a goal and assist apiece for the Coyotes, who led 4-0 before Mike Richards and Dustin Brown scored power-play goals for the Kings.
Phoenix's Rob Klinkhammer sealed it with his second career NHL goal in two games since he was recalled from Portland of the American Hockey League.
Mike Smith, in his 250th NHL game, had 31 saves for Phoenix. Jonathan Quick had 24 for the Kings, who played for the second night in a row.
JETS 5, MAPLE LEAFS 2
WINNIPEG, Manitoba — Blake Wheeler scored twice and Ondrej Pavelec made 24 saves to lead Winnipeg over Toronto.
Nik Antropov, Kyle Wellwood and Evander Kane also scored for the Jets, who have won three of four. Dustin Byfuglien had three assists, and Antropov added two.
Phil Kessel scored both goals for Toronto, which has lost three straight.
The Jets moved into a tie for eighth place in the Eastern Conference with the New York Rangers. Both teams have 28 points.