The Washington Capitals hosted the Detroit Red Wings for the first time since the NHL postponed the rest of the season in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The tight checking affair produced very few scoring chances for either side during the first two periods. The third period was more wide open and produced offensive chances for both teams. Two power play goals by Washington in the first 24 minutes of the game was the early difference as Washington took a 2-0 lead.
Detroit stormed back with three goals including a Dylan Larkin goal in OT to earn the victory.
Here are eight observations from Wednesday night’s game.
1: Detroit records another win. In the first seven games of the season, Detroit begins the season with a 4-2-1 record. This record is good for 3rd in the Atlantic Division, behind Florida and Buffalo but, ahead of Tampa Bay, Boston, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal.
2: Dynamic Rookie Duo. Former Red Wings goaltender, turned broadcaster, Chris Osgood, called Moritz Seider and Lucas Raymond the Dynamic Duo. Raymond currently leads all rookies with eight points. Seider leads all rookies with five assists. Raymond assisted on the game winning goal by Larkin in OT.
3: Balanced scoring is necessary. The top line were held scoreless until OT in Washington. The goals were scored by Robby Fabbri, Adam Erne and Dylan Larkin. Going into the game, the line of Larkin, Tyler Bertuzzi and Raymond had scored 12 of Detroit’s 20 goals to start the season. Michael Rasmussen’s line with Adam Erne and Vladislav Namestnikov had five goals. Pius Suter’s line with Filip Zadina and Robby Fabbri had three goals. The defense are one of only three teams who have yet to score a goal.
4: Leddy needs to be re-signed. Nick Leddy is a stabilizing influence every time he is on the ice. At 30, Leddy will be looking for a multi-year extension before he tests the waters as an UFA at the end of the season.
5: Thomas Greiss had a very good game for the Red Wings. Thomas Greiss returned to the net after a miserable game in Montreal on Saturday. Greiss made 26 saves in the game to earn his 3rd victory of the season.
6: Filip Hronek returned to the Red Wings lineup. After being a healthy scratch for two weekend games, Hronek looked much more comfortable playing with the defensively responsible Nick Leddy. Hronek earned the primary assist on the goal by Erne.
7: Special Teams continue to haunt the Red Wings. Going into the game, the Red Wings ranked 23rd in league special teams. The power play has been operating at 16% and the penalty killing has been successful 75% of the time. This needs to improve if the Red Wings want to win more close games. Washington went 2/4 on the power play in the game. The Red Wings power play went 0/2.
8: Danny DeKeyser needs a rest. Danny DeKeyser looks lost out on the ice. He can’t keep up with the play and is being easily pushed off the puck. It may be time to give Jordan Oesterle a chance to see what he can do in a Red Wings uniform.
Detroit at Toronto Saturday October 30, 7:00 PM ET at Scotiabank Centre in Toronto, ON.