The Red Wings had a fight on their hands against the Capitals and in the end; they couldn’t lock them down at the Joe Louis Arena. A quick game-winning goal by Evgeny Kuznetsov in overtime gave Washington a 2-1 win Wednesday night.
The Washington capitals returned to Detroit to try and make a difference from their 1-0 shutout by the Red Wings. Captain Alexander Ovechkin attempted to tie Detroit star Sergei Fedorov’s scoring record but was ousted by Detroit and Petr Mrazek who was responsible for that defeat. He would take place in net again trying to make it two despite the chance of the captain possibly scoring the key goal that would him on top.
The Wings came off a huge win against the Senators on Monday night winning it in overtime by Tomas Tatar’s great shot into the net. With they key members shaking off the rust, it was their time to match the strength of their young teammates and produce goals against Washington.
Andreas Anthanasiou was the first to get his time with the puck trying to make his mark once again that defeated Washington before. He was unsuccessful against Braden Holtby in net for the Capitals but the same couldn’t be said for the Red Wings second line. Great communication from Pavel Datsyuk and Dylan Larkin helped them get on the board as the Detroit rookie eyed his target before launching the puck away from Holtby notching his sixth of the season.
The Capitals had seen this occur before and did not wish to have it repeated. They spent the next eight minutes fighting back and forth with Detroit before gaining some quality time with the puck on a power play. On a full line rush into the Red Wings zone, Nicklas Backstrom and Matt Niskanen got into a tandem pass play where it ended on Niskanen driving a shot on the glove side of Mrazek. Standing next to him was former LA Kings right-winger Justin Williams was there to tip the puck in gaining his fourth of the season and tying the game at one all.
It remained that way with the Capitals gaining some offensive strength along the way. They weren’t able to take control of the score but their efforts to even up were accomplished. Washington outshot Detroit 10-7 but failed to convert on more than one of four power plays.
The second was another show of fight for possession, as the game remaining even didn’t sit well with either team. Through a majority of the period, Washington and Detroit played even strength hockey but certainly had great scoring chances. Things got dicey for the Capitals in the final minutes as the Red Wings fought very hard to take control of the scoreboard but came up just short of the net. A shot from Riley Sheahan from behind the faceoff drove the puck to the net being stopped in traffic.
Backstrom nearly put it in his own net but Holtby somehow stopped the puck from crossing the line. It was the best save of the period as he stopped a total of 13 shots from the Red Wings while Mrazek did work against Washington’s eight shots to the net. With the third period left, it was going to come down on who would gain the leverage in the final 20 minutes.
The third period was intense, as the Capitals and Red Wings blasted away early on leaving no chance wasted. Each goalie faced a barrage of shots as the fight to get out of the tie was of the highest priority. Near the midway point of the period, the Red Wings were in their zone fighting away the scoring chances from Washington. John Carlson took a shot that went off the facemask of Mrazek nearly scaring many in the arena.
After a check from trainer Pete Van Zant, play resumed for Washington who moved around the ice to find a chance for a shot. One came from defenseman Nate Schmidt who drove the puck nearly missing the top shelf hitting the crossbar. The Capitals remained vigilant in the Detroit zone, firing the puck at Mrazek only to watch him make the key stops.
It would continue all the way to the end until the final 30 seconds saw the Red Wings fighting for possession. They moved the game into the Washington but were unable to get a legitimate scoring chance on net. The game moved into overtime where 3 on 3 would become a challenge against the Capitals top line.
It didn’t take the Capitals long as a late shift change from the Red Wings was beaten by Kuznetsov getting ahead of Detroit to score on Mrazek 45 seconds into the five-minute period. Jakub Kindl got off the bench leaving the Red Wings behind by sheer seconds that gave Washington the upper hand.
They didn’t go empty handed picking up a point after regulation but the concluding factor was their up and down streak continued. The Red Wings would get another shot at home finishing the short home stand when they take on the Los Angeles Kings Friday.