Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images
It was a back and forth game on the scoreboard. The Capitals, who couldn’t score for over one hundred minutes, were down 1-0. Then up 2-1. Then down 3-2, and suddenly win 4-3 in overtime thanks to an Alex Ovechkin power play goal.
In my eyes this was a game that could have gone either way. Neither team dominated, and looking at stats it’s much of the same. Speaking of stats, let’s get to them.
Washington won the 5v5 shot attempt battle 48-39, but in total, Detroit pulled it closer. The final in this stat was 69-65 for the Capitals.
You can see from scoring chances, the Red Wings actually won the expected goals for game, but just barely. Both teams got to the net pretty well, but the Capitals got some big chances in close. Scoring chances while 5v5 ended in the Capitals favor 28-19.
Some good numbers to point out tonight. Five guys ended the night over sixty percent Corsi. On the other hand, just only four Caps ended the game under 50%, Connolly and Eller, the only ones even worth mentioning. Orlov was a standout all night. He finished a +7 in well over twenty-seven minutes of action.
It’s seemingly becoming a normal thing to say but three of the Capitals four centermen did pretty well on the faceoffs tonight. In total the Capitals won 33 of 60, or 55% of the draws tonight. Backstrom did very good tonight. Beagle was solid as usual, Eller continued to do well. The only one who still hasn’t figured it out is Kuznetsov who was just 38% vs Detroit.
One thing to note about the faceoffs vs the Red Wings was the Caps were just 40% in the defensive zone winning just 6 of 15 draws taken in their own zone. They were however great in the attacking zone winning 16 of 23 or 70%.
Other guys to take draws:
T.J. Oshie: 3 of 4
Connolly & Burakovsky: 1 of 2
Tom Wilson: 1 of 1
Alex Chiasson: 0 of 2
I didn’t think Holtby had to be great tonight. There was not many great chances against that he had to bail out the Caps but he was good. He did let in what I thought was a weaker shot while shorthanded that led to Detroit’s first goal. Overall an OK night for Braden Holtby who stopped 34 of 37 shots.
Special teams ended up being the difference. Both teams had five power play opportunities but the Red Wings found the net just once and the Capitals buried two power play goals and one of those goals was in overtime. Washington however unfortunately allowed another shorthanded goal, the third time they have done that this season.
A good road win in the first game in the new arena in Detroit. Wasn’t a great game but they had some adversity and overcame it and walked away with two points. That’s all you can ask for.
The reward for that? A date with the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
By CJ Witt