The Detroit Red Wings landed in Washington hoping to end a terrible five-game winless slide but failed to do so with a 4-3 loss to the Capitals. Washington captain Alex Ovechkin went into the night with 800 career goals, just one close to tie Red Wings legend Gordie Howe as second all-time and he would stay there.
Before the game started, the Detroit Red Wings made some minor news. General Manager (GM) Steve Yzerman pulled the trigger for a minor league deal. Detroit sent Givani Smith to Florida for veteran defenseman Michael Del Zotto and immediately brought Del Zotto to the Ducks for center Danny O’Regan. O’Regan, 28, projects as a depth center to bolster the Grand Rapids Griffins lineup at center. With the San Diego Gulls, O’Regan recorded three goals and 15 assists for 18 points in 27 games in 2022–23.
The Detroit Red Wings also recently put forward Austin Czarnik on waivers after Czarnik was able to return to the Detroit lineup for tonight’s game in Washington.
Head coach Derek Lalonde has shaken up the lineup after Detroit’s ugly loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday. It seems almost impossible, but the Detroit Red Wings conceded three power play goals and two shorthanded goals at home against Ottawa on Saturday afternoon. Almost the entire duration of team training on Sunday was dedicated to special teams.
The Detroit Red Wings failed to recover in Washington as their winless slide reaches six games.
That extra focus seemed to pay off early on in Washington. Detroit took a 1-0 lead thanks to a skillful backhand play from David Perron. Lalonde’s top line Monday night consisted of Perron, Dylan Larkin and Michael Rasmussen. This was a change from Saturday; Rasmussen replaced Andrew Copp in this unit. While Larkin is still recovering from picking up a puck last week, the Red Wings are trying to limit his faceoff attempts, which means the top line will include two centers for now.
On the first goal of the game, Rasmussen pushed the puck down behind the Capitals’ net on the forecheck, forcing a turnover. Rasmussen then tapped the puck to Larkin, who would eventually find Perron. Perron lobbed a nice backhand over Washington goalie Charlie Lindgren’s right shoulder.
Oskar Sundqvist scored Detroit’s second goal of the game on the power play. Jonatan Berggren and Joe Veleno assisted the goal.
The Detroit Red Wings went into the second half 2-0, but Nic Dowd and the Capitals would own the second half. Dowd scored twice, just 11 seconds apart, and there was just over four minutes left in the second half to level the game.
Detroit struggled to generate plenty of offense in the second frame, registering just seven shots on target and 13 through two overall during that period. The Red Wings were clearly trying to sit back and defend a two-goal lead, but it’s a dangerous strategy when you’re up against a goal-scoring team like Washington.
The Red Wings started the third period well after weathering a lot of pressure from Washington. Andrew Copp and Lucas Raymond found themselves in a duel. Copp feathered a pass to Raymond, who easily smacked a sweeping Lindgren. Unfortunately, Washington quickly leveled the game to three just 1:10 later with a goal from Erik Gustafsson. The experienced defender conceded his spot, pinched and was rewarded. Gustafsson scores a hat-trick in Washington’s final game; it’s the first four goals of the season for the 30-year-old defender.
Overtime would be needed to decide Monday night’s game in DC
After three periods, Detroit was surpassed 39-18. As on most nights, goaltender Ville Husso remained the Red Wings’ best player. With less than a minute left in overtime, Dmitry Orlov fired in a shot from Husso from the top of the circle.
The Red Wings played better Monday than they had lately, but as the game progressed, Washington carried on the game and it eventually paid off. Detroit was overshot 42-19 and struggled to find much sustained offensive pressure or zone time. The Red Wings earned a point for their performance, ending the night 1-3 on the power play and scoring a perfect 3-3 penalty kill.
During those six games, the Detroit Red Wings were outplayed 23-10. Tampa Bay is on the agenda for the Red Wings next Wednesday at home.