The Capitals and the Red Wings squared off at Joe Louis Arena on Friday night. The Capitals played slow and sluggish the night before against the Jackets. Adam Oates called his teams performance “terrible” in the first half.
Taking their coaches word to heart the Capitals decided to start the game aggressively. Just two minuets in the Capitals already had 1:15 of offensive zone time with two shots on goal. The Red Wing’s shifted the ice though. With strong offensive zone pressure the Red Wings we’re penalized by Nicklas Bacsktrom. The Red Wing’s worked the cycle, the puck found it’s way to Ericsson but Michael Neuvirth made a brilliant pad stop which left a juicy rebound in the slot Gustav Nyquist found a biscuit on his stick. The game was destined to be 1-0 Red Wings, but Michael Neuvirth had other plans.
After killing two penalties back-to-back the Capitals finally found themselves on the man advantage. It only took the Capitals special teams one minuet and six seconds to get the first tally of the night. Nicklas Backstrom, the power play point leader, sent a laser of a pass to Jason Chimera who buried the the puck in the back of the goal, his 11th of the season. The 1st would end with the Capitals on top 1-0 but being out shot 21-5.
The second started with the Red Wings on the man advantage for 22 more seconds from Karl Alzner’s tripping penalty. The Red Wings wouldn’t be able to convert on the third power play attempt of the night. A chaotic breakaway from the Detroit Red Wings found it’s way past an all out effort from Michael Neuvirth to knot the game up 1-1 2:06 in the second. The Capitals would try to respond quickly. Casey Wellman made a fast break and deked his way around the defense but barely missed the net. Play would continue for seven minuets before anything would happen. with 7:14 in the stanza Eric Fehr would send the Capitals to the PK for the fourth time of the night for roughing. The Capitals would kill the Red Wings power play for the fourth time of the night to keep things knotted up at 1-1. With 1:39 left to play the Red Wings won an offensive zone faceoff which lead to a Danny DeKeyser goal. DeKeyser would slap-shot his 3rd of the season past Neuvirth to give the Red Wings a late 2-1 lead in the second. The second stanza would end with the Red Wings leading 2-1 and leading the Capitals in shot’s on goal 31-13.
Backstrom Kronwalls Kronwall. (GIF: JapersRink)
2:13 in Eric Fehr was called for his second penalty of the night, tripping. The Red Wings headed to the man advantage for the 5th time of the night. With fantastic play from Michael Neuvirth the Capitals killed off the 5th penalty of the night. The Capitals wouldn’t go down without a fight. 9:04 into the third Casey Wellam received a pass from Ovechkin. After shooting twice at Jimmy Howard and collecting the rebound twice, Wellman remembered the saying “Third Times a charm” and shot again. Wellman finally beat Howard and got his 2nd of the season to knot things back up at 2-2. But the Red Wings would respond just 2:06 after the Capitals goal. Gustav Nyquist would beat Michael Neuvirth glove side to give Detroit a crucial 3-2 lead with 9:42 left. With only 3:29 left in the game the Hockey gods decided to give the Capitals a good chance with the man advantage. The Capitals headed to the man advantage due to a slash on Orlov. Jimmy Howard had different plans though. The Capitals got 8 shots on goal during the PP but Howard stonewalled all of them to keep the Wings lead at one with 1:08 left. With 32 seconds left Washington pulled Michael Neuvirth to give the Capitals an extra attacker. As the Capitals kept firing Jimmy Howard continued to make save after save until Ovechkin slapped one at the point that beat Howard with 7.7 seconds left. Washington knotted things back up at 3-3.
Detroit and Washington headed to OT. Each team received at least one standings point. 65 minuets would prove to not be enough for these two teams. The game would end in a shootout
— Alfredsson: Stopped
— Fehr: Stopped
— Tatar: Stopped
— Ovechkin: Stopped
— Zetterberg: Stopped
— Backstrom: Stopped (Kinda…)
— Helm: Stopped
— Wellman: Stopped
— Nyquist: Stopped
— Brouwer: Stopped
— Sheahan: Stopped
— Erat: Stopped
— Eaves: Goal
—Beagle: Stopped, game over
Red Wings edge past Capitals in the S/O