Red Wings can’t hold third-period lead, lose 3-2 to Capitals
The Red Wings led by a goal in the third period but were ultimately bested by the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Washington Capitals scored twice in the third to defeat Detroit 3-2 on Sunday at Little Caesars Arena.
“I thought we played well. I just wish we could have found a way to get two points out of here,” said Jimmy Howard, who made 31 saves. “There's a very fine line in this league, and we just have to get on the other side.”
Defenseman Michal Kempny scored the winner, breaking a 2-2 tie with 3:52 left on a screened wrist shot from the blue line.
“I never saw it,” Howard said.
Wings coach Jeff Blashill challenged that Alexander Ovechkin touched the puck with a high stick in front of the net on the goal. But replays showed that the superstar did not touch the puck, and the goal was upheld.
“We did a number of good things, but we made preventable mistakes on the two goals,” Blashill said. “… For us to win games against a team like that, you either have to play mistake-free hockey, score a lot of goals or win the special-teams battles. We didn't do that tonight. Our kill was outstanding” – no goals allowed on four Washington power plays – “but the power play isn't good enough (0-for-3).”
Travis Boyd tied it at 2, 6:19 into the third period.
Anthony Mantha, in his second game back after missing 15 with a broken hand, and rookie defenseman Filip Hronek scored for the Red Wings.
Detroit had 25 shots on Capitals goalie Braden Holtby.
Hronek gave the Wings a 2-1 lead 6:48 into the second period when he tipped in Dylan Larkin’s pass. It was his third goal. Larkin has points in 16 of his last 17 games (8-12-20).
Mantha tied the game with 5:52 remaining in the first period. After a giveaway by the Capitals’ Jakub Vrana just outside his own blue line, Mantha broke in off the left wing for a breakaway and slid a backhand shot through Holtby’s pads after a move. It was Mantha’s 10th goal.
He has been a force in his two games back after his injury.
“Mo (Mantha) is one of those guys,” said Niklas Kronwall. “He’s a power forward, and the way he’s going right now, he can do everything really out there, both on the forecheck and creating chances out of nowhere because of that shot he’s got.”
Current NHL bad boy and former Plymouth Whaler Tom Wilson gave Washington a 1-0 lead 6:57 into the game.
… Larkin’s four overtime goals this season leads the NHL and is the all-time Red Wings record for OT goals in a season.
… Rookie Michael Rasmussen did not play.
“He's been dealing with a lower-body injury, and the training staff decided it was time to shut it down and rest it up,” Blashill said. “He probably won't play Tuesday (against the Montreal Canadiens at LCA), but he could be back this weekend.”