Red Wings Beat Capitals 5-4 (OT); Late Rally Falls Short for Washington

Photo: NHL/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Detroit Red Wings 5-4 (OT) Sunday afternoon at Capital One Arena. The Capitals would open the scoring with a power play goal by Alex Ovechkin from the office, but the Red Wings would respond with a break away goal by Justin Abdelkader, tying the game 1-1 at the first intermission. The Caps went to sleep in the second period, allowing three late goals to give the Red Wings a 4-1 lead at the second intermission. The Caps were outshot 17-2 for the middle frame. Brett Connolly and Dmitry Orlov would cut the Red Wings lead to 4-3 late, and Nicklas Backstrom would tie it in the waning seconds of the final frame, sending the game in to overtime. Detroit would win it in overtime with a goal by Tomas Tartar, his second of the game. The Capitals return to action on Tuesday when they visit the Winnipeg Jets. Puck drop is 8PM. 

Braden Holtby (28-10-2, 2.74 GAA, .916 sv%) got the start for the Capitals. Jimmy Howard (14-17-6, 2.82 GAA, .911 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Red Wings. The Capitals starting forwards and defensive pairings:


Scratches: Alex Chiasson and Taylor Chorney were the healthy scratches for the contest.

The Capitals would strike first with a power play goal from Alex Ovechkin at 4:20 of the opening frame. John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov were credited with the assists.

The Red Wings would tie things up on a break away goal by Justin Abdelkader at 13:37 of the opening period. The break away was setup by a Caps turnover in the neutral zone. Matt Niskanen was unable to collect an errant pass, which was snatched-up by Abdelkader.

The period would end tied 1-1. The Capitals outshot the Red Wings 8-6 for the opening frame. The Red Wings won the faceoff battle 58-42%.

The Red Wings dominated play for a majority of the middle frame, with a significant amount of play taking place in the Capitals Zone. The Red Wings would eventually notch two quick goals, separated by just nine seconds. Luke Glendening would give the Red Wings the lead at 16:53 of the middle frame.

Nine seconds later Anthony Mantha would make it a 3-1 lead for the Red Wings on the end of another Niskanen miscue.

The Red Wings would make it 4-1 just before the end of the second period with a goal by Tomas Tartar at 19:49.

The period would end with the Red Wings leading 4-1. The Red Wings outshot the Capitals 17-2 for the middle frame, and led 23-10 after two periods of play.

The Capitals would quickly cut into the Red Wings lead with a goal just 2:32 into the final frame. Jay Beagle was credited with the lone assist.

Dmitry Orlov would make it a one goal game with a tally at the 14:02 mark of the final frame.

Nicklas Backstrom would tie the game with a 6-on-4 goal at 19:43 of the final frame. John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin were credited with the assists.

Regulation would end in a 3-3 tie. The Capitals outshot the Red Wings 15-5 for the final frame. Detroit outshot Washington 29-27 in regulation.

The Red Wings would win it in overtime with a goal by Tomas Tartar at the 2:47 mark of the extra frame. Washington outshot Detroit 2-1 in the overtime period.


  • Capitals have scored the first goal in three of their last four games.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his NHL-leading 33rd goal of the season on the power play. He is now nine goals shy of 600 career goals. Ovechkin also added an assist in the game.
  • Nicklas Backstrom tied the game with 17 seconds remaining in the game, marking his 10th point scored in the final 10 minutes of the game this season. Backstrom also led the team with 12 face-off wins.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov recorded an assist on Ovechkin’s goal, his seventh-straight game with a point, the highest streak on the team this season (2g, 8a).
  • Brett Connolly scored his 14th goal of the season, one shy of his career high set last year with the Capitals. Connolly has scored in the third period seven times this season, the third most by a Capital.
  • Dmitry Orlov scored his eighth goal of the season, tying his single-season high set in the 2015-16 season in 28-fewer games.
  • The Capitals will have a day off tomorrow. Washington will resume with a morning skate on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. at Bell MTS Place prior to playing the Winnipeg Jets at 8 p.m. ET.
  • Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals 394th consecutive sellout at Capital One Arena.
  • NHL box score is here.


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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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7 Responses to Red Wings Beat Capitals 5-4 (OT); Late Rally Falls Short for Washington

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    The second period, especially the last five minutes are so, are one of the worst stretches of Caps hockey I have seen. Giving up 3 goals in quick succession to a mediocre team like Detroit. Unacceptable. It almost seemed like the Caps were on a 20 minutes PK since Detroit dominated in possession.

    There were so many Detroit fans in the building and it was so loud that I felt like we were in Little Caesars’ Arena — South East edition. (I had to google to find that name. I had blanked out on the name but knew it had something to do with pizza.)

    • While the 2nd was one of their worst, I think the 3rd was one of their best periods. Coming back to tie from a 3 goal deficit is not easy in any league. As heartbreaking as it was to lose in OT there were some really good positives to pull from the first and last 20 minutes of the game.

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