The Washington Capitals thumped the Detroit Red Wings 6-2 Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. The win improves the Capitals record to 18-9-3 (39 points) on the season. The Capitals now hit the road for a tilt with the Hurricanes in Raleigh on Friday night. Puck drop is set for 7:30PM.
Brett Connolly opened the scoring with a power play goal less than four minutes into the contest. Travis Boyd would score his second goal in as many games and Alex Ovechkin would make it 3-0 at the first intermission. Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie would add tallies in the middle frame for a 5-0 lead at the second intermission. Dylan Larkin would get the visitors on the scorebaord early in the final frame to make it 5-1, but Alex Ovechkin would score his third midway through the final frame for the hat trick, the 21st of his careeer, for a Caps 6-1 lead. Nyquist would add a late goal for the 6-2 final.
Braden Holtby (11-7-2, 2.85 GAA, .911 sv%) started in goal for the Capitals. Jonathan Bernier (4-7-0, 3.38 GAA, .893sv% ) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Red Wings. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
T.J. Oshie returned to the lineup for the first time since sustaining a concussion in Winnipeg on November 14. Scratches: Andre Burakovsky and Jonas Siegenthaler.
The Capitals would strike first with a power play goal from Brett Connolly at 3:39 of the opening frame. Connolly deflected a bullet from John Carlson for the tally. Evgeny Kuznetsov was credited with the second helper.
The Capitals would make it 2-0 with a goal from Travis Boyd at 10:50 of the first period. The goal was setup with a nice hustle by Dmitrij Jaskin who dug the puck out of the corner, fed to Nic Dowd who found Travis Boyd for the finish, his second tally in as many games.
The Capitals would quickly make it 3-0 with a goal from Alex Ovechkin at 12:59 of the first period. The goal was a rather fortunate one for the Captain, as the shot deflected off of two defenders and into the goal.
The period would end with the Capitals leading 3-0. Detroit outshot Washington 11-10 for the first 20 minutes.
The Capitals would make it 4-0 midway through the middle frame with a goal from Alex Ovechkin, his second of the game and league-leading 24th of the season, at 9:05 of the second period. John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom were credited with the helpers.
The Capitals would continue to pour it on. This time “new guy” T.J. Oshie would get in on the action with a power play goal at 10:06 of the middle frame. Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov would be credited with the assists. The Red Wings would pull Bernier and replace him with Howard following the Capitals 5th goal.
The period would expire with the Capitals leading 5-0. Detroit outshot Washington 10-7 in the middle frame.
The Red Wings would quickly get on the scoreboard early in the final frame with a goal from Dylan Larkin at 1:03 of the third period.
Alex Ovechkin would notch his third tally of the game for the hat trick at 9:33 of the final frame. Chrisitian Djoos and Nicklas Backstrom were credited with the helpers.
The Red Wings would add a late goal from Gus Nyquist to make it 6-2, and that would be the final.
- Alex Ovechkin’s hat trick was the 21st of his NHL career.
- OV’s 1st tonight moved him past Marcel Dionne (629) for both 2nd in goals by age 33 or younger (Most: 804- Wayne Gretzky) & 3rd in goals within a player’s first 14 seasons (632. More: Mario Lemieux- 654, Gretzky- 765)
- With his 3-goal performance for the @Capitals vs DET tonight, Alex Ovechkin passed Pavel Bure for the most career hat tricks by a Russian-born player in NHL history (21)
- Nicklas Backstrom recorded his 12th career 4-assist game. That is tied with Gilbert Perreault for 8th-most in NHL history.
- This was the second time that Backstrom has had one of his four-assist nights in the same game as one of Ovechkin’s 21 hat tricks. Previous occurrence was 12/10/13, in 6-5 SO win over TB, almost five years to the day.
- Brett Connolly extended his point streak to five games.
- The Capitals are 10-2-0 in their last 12 games and have recorded at least three goals in 12 straight games for the first time since Jan. 5, 2010 through March 4, 2010 (23 games). The Capitals current 12 game streak is the second-longest streak since 1993.
- Over the last four seasons, the Capitals are 40-11-9 in the month of December. That’s the most wins and points (89) in the month of December by any team in the NHL during that span.
- The NHL box score is here.
SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT