Mission accomplished — well, one of them, anyway.
The Red Wings made sure Washington Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin didn’t tie Detroit legend Gordie Howe on the all-time goals list, but in the primary focus — winning a hockey game — came up short.
Detroit blew a pair of leads at the Capital One Center in Washington on Monday night, ultimately pushing the winless streak to six games as Dmitriy Orlov scored with 22 seconds remaining in overtime to hand the Red Wings a 4-3 loss.
“In reality, I think at any other time, this is probably a really good point,” Red Wings head coach Derek Lalonde told Bally Sports Detroit. “I think the fact that we’re sitting on an 0-4-1 stretch and we had some good chances, it’s a little frustrating. … But in reality, probably a pretty good point.”
Ovechkin, currently on the hunt for goal No. 801, hit a post in the second period of Detroit’s loss, coming up short with Gordie’s sons, Mark and Marty, in attendance in Washington.
“It’s just like any other time you play [Ovechkin],” captain Dylan Larkin told Bally Sports Detroit. “He’s gonna get his chances. (Ville) Husso was really good against him tonight. I think they were in our zone a lot. They generated a lot of offense tonight. We just tried to stay tight to him and not give him time and space to shoot the puck.”
David Perron, Oskar Sundqvist and Lucas Raymond each scored a goal for the Red Wings (13-11-7), as Husso stopped 34-of-38 shots. Nic Dowd scored twice in 11 seconds for the Capitals (17-13-4), Nicolas Aube-Kubel had two assists and Erik Gustafsson added a third goal.
After both teams got its chances, Orlov scored in a helter-skelter overtime period with 22 seconds remaining on a one-timer from above the circles that beat Husso glove-side.
“Instead of just going and playing, playing free, playing with confidence, we’re thinking a lot,” Larkin said. “I really think what we worked on in practice. Tonight, it was much better. We generated much more and it’s just sometimes the way it goes. They get one shot and it’s in our net. So, it is what it is.”
The Wings showed encouraging bounce-back after Saturday’s home collapse against the Ottawa Senators. Perron kicked off the scoring at 7:30 as Michael Rasmussen and Dylan Larkin teamed up on the forecheck. Larkin swatted the puck right to Perron, who scored his seventh of the year with a nifty backhand near the goal mouth that zipped over the shoulder of Capitals goaltender Charlie Lindgren.
The Capitals had 42 shots — three of them off the stick of Ovechkin — to Detroit’s 19 and won 55% of the game’s faceoffs, but Detroit’s focus on special teams at Sunday’s practice paid off.
The Red Wings entered Monday’s game on a 2-for-20 stretch on the power play and gave up six goals on the penalty kill in their last four games. They went 1-for-3 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill against the Capitals. The Wings got their power-play goal in the first period as rookie Jonatan Berggren found a seam in the slot to set up Sundqvist, who made it 2-0 at 15:36.
“Our five-on-five game was probably better in our last game out, but we lost the special teams battle,” Lalonde said. “So, we win the special teams battle tonight and it gives us an opportunity and overtime and obviously, a point on the road.”
Washington had a 17-7 shots advantage in the second period, where Ovechkin nearly drew even with Howe’s goal mark. With the Caps on a power play, Ovechkin tried a short-side backhand but hit the post.
Washington clearly wasn’t discouraged by yet another close call in the offensive zone, though. Dowd scored two goals in a span of 11 seconds to draw even.
On the first, Dowd trailed on a three-man rush, received a pass from Ovechkin on his way into the zone and toe-dragged Raymond before beating Husso with a wicked snapshot from between the circles. Washington dumped it in immediately after winning the ensuing faceoff, leading to a point shot from former Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen that Dowd redirected into the net for his second goal in 11 seconds, just one tick shy of tying a Caps franchise record.
Detroit took a 3-2 lead early in the third period. Raymond, who had scored just one goal in his last 16 games entering Monday, scored his eighth of the season at 4:49 after receiving a pass from Andrew Copp on a 2-on-1.
Less than a minute later, though, the Capitals answered. Both Rasmussen and Larkin shadowed Aube-Kubel in the slot, leaving Erik Gustafsson all alone for a bang-bang play on the back doorstep at 5:59.