Capitals Fall To Red Wings, 5-2

Photo: x/@Capitals

The Washington Capitals fell to the Detroit Red Wings, 5-2, Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. The loss drops the Capitals record to 1-1-1 in the 2023 preseason, with three more tune-up games remaining.


Hunter Shepard made his second start of the preseason for the Capitals. Ville Husso got the start between the pipes for the Red Wings. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Sonny Milano – Dylan Strome –  Matthew Phillips
Anthony Mantha – Hendrix Lapierre – Ethen Frank
Joe Snively – Aliaksei Protas – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Beck Malenstyn – Riley Sutter – Bogdan Trineyev

Martin Fehervary – Trevor van Riemsdyk
Alex Alexeyev – Chase Priskie
Hardy Häman Aktell – Dylan McIlrath

Hunter Shepard
Charlie Lindgren


The Red Wings first lit the lamp with a tally from Austin Czarnik at 7:19 of the opening stanza.

The Red Wings made it 2-0 with 6:46 left in the first period. Moritz Seider hammered a one-timer from the top of the slot for the Red Wings second tally.

That was it for the first frame, with the Red Wings holding a 2-o lead at the first intermission. The Red Wings led in five-on-five shot attempts, 15-13, high-danger chances, 3-2 and xGF .53 to .52.


The Red Wings stretched their lead to 3-0 with a tally from Dylan Larkin at 2:46 of the middle frame.

The Capitals finally dented the scoreboard with a goal from Dylan Strome at 8:47 of the second period. Ethan Frank and Matthew Phillips had the helpers.

But the Red Wings would answer, restoring their three-goal lead. Cross Hanas notched the Wings 4th tally at 13:20 of the second period.

The Capitals answered with a tic-tac-goal from Dylan Strome, Sonny Milano and finished by Matthew Phillips.

The second period would conclude with the Red Wings leading, 4-2. Caps led in 5v5 shot attempts 17-10 in the period.


The Red Wings stretched their lead to 5-2 with a goal from Dylan Larkin, his second of the game, with 14:17 left in the period.

That would be the final.

The Capitals are back in action on Tuesday when they visit the Bruins in Boston. Puck drop is set for 7PM.

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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19 Responses to Capitals Fall To Red Wings, 5-2

  1. andrew777dc says:

    Probably not too much to read into with this roster. But I wonder if it’s an indication of things to come, with some vets getting rotated regularly to give them some rest. And where we stand without them. Just thinking out loud.

  2. Prevent Defense says:

    I thought there were some excellent individual performances tonight. Malenstyn, Milano, Strome, Phillips and AubeKubel had some great shifts. Aktell (!) was excellent again, and T Van Riemsdyk was good too. TvR gets no love from comment-section boo-birds.

    There were some not good either. H Shepard looked quite porous on several of his goals-against. Mantha didn’t do much and would have been labeled a “passenger” by Boudreau or Barry Trotz. Between Mantha and Jensen the Caps have two major headaches in the veteran department. But that’s life in the NHL. Every team has this. The league is brutally competitive.

    In general I liked the Caps energy throughout the game, and for a large stretch of 2nd and 3rd period they controlled play. Caps offense produced a bunch of fine-looking chances that got stopped or blocked by DET goalies. DET definitely won tonight’s goaltender battle.

    I still saw lots of speed and skill from almost the whole crew of Baby and New Caps. The diminutive Phillips was flying. Ethen Frank had a great shift in Period 2 but his shot didn’t go in. I like the talent level of Baby and New Caps in this game! Compare to preseason 2006 or 2012 or thereabouts, this “prospect” collection is superior. I look for a real test vs BOS on Monday night.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow Mantha even gave up on a fight that he started lol….to be fair that kid hit him from behind and deserved a learning lesson for it. Maybe if he would use that aggression to… I dunno, score goals.

    The Caps spent most the game passing and doing everything but shooting the puck on net. It was mostly like a entire team of Mantha’s some stepping out of role at times.

    This should put into perspective the narrow win we had against Detroit’s farm team with our core last game. Not so proud now are we? Sure you can say different goalie, no Ovie but at the end of the day Detroit was the better team tonight and they are pretty much attempting to become relevant again.

  4. Anonymous says:

    With the regulars or with the young guys or a mix this is going to be a very long season. As Andrew stated this is an indication of things to come and not just this year but for the next several years as management refuses to do a rebuild but rather “retool”. Yes there were many players playing tonight who will not see ice time in Washington this year. However Detroit almost caught the regulars in their last game so with this game, yes you can not read a lot into it but then again injuries happen and players have to step up and sadly many do not look ready.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Detroit was dominated last night, but scored 2 late to make it seem close to folks like you I guess.

    Will the Caps make the playoffs…??? I have no idea, but I do know I like the roster, I don’t like promoting AHL players that don’t even make all stars or score 20 goals, or whatever meaningful metric you want to use. So many begging for 4th liners to come up as if they are going to put the Caps in the playoffs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So frustrating to know Mantha will be occupying an undeserved roster spot that could be occupied by someone who would actually try.

  7. novafyre says:

    I could only listen to the game as Monumental still does not want to let me watch remotely through my Cox logon but overall I was not impressed. Mantha showed nothing. Hunter had a bad night. Was expecting the first but not the second. But, one only gets highlights on radio, not all the action so there could be some good things I missed. Was hoping for a bit more player analysis not just a recap of the game.

    • Anonymous says:

      Monumental app is garbage

      • novafyre says:

        Website is poor, phone app is bad, Roku app is worse. Their emails brag about access anywhere any time but so far it isn’t working that way no matter which path I try to take.

        • DWGie26 says:

          It is so bad. I actually submitted a ticket / complaint on Saturday because the app only deploys as an iphone app. I can’t deal with that on my ipad. Really bad. And no response.

          The NHL app got worse this year as well. The screen clarity is bad. Adds on the home page. On no bottom button for your favorite team. Have to do dropdown every time.

        • Rich427 says:

          Hey Fyre, I just find it easier to do ESPN+ to catch the Caps games down here. My perspective, Phillips looked really good to me. A lot of jump in those skates. But, as small as he is can he endure a full season in the NHL? Frank impressed me on a number of shifts as well. I like the looks of HHK. But, if I’m Carbs, not sure I can start the season with Mantha on the roster! Yeah, I understand they have a contract issue, but unless something drastically changes with his performance I can’t see him getting a jersey when the season starts. JMO!

          • novafyre says:

            Rich, I agree, ESPN+ would be easier. But I’m already paying Cox for tv/internet/phone for my house in Virginia and Cox is paying Monumental. Monumental has already gotten my money once. I don’t want to pay twice.

  8. DWGie26 says:

    Remember we played some more vets for home game. More prospects on road. Of course there is not as much talent and nobody has really played together. I don’t look into to much on team. But there were some individuals that stood out. Not much good really.

    Alexyev and Malenstyn both had chances to really lock down their NHL roles. Didn’t think either player did that. Malenstyn looked slow.

    Shepherd looked good until he didn’t. Lots of problems in front of him. Priske sucked (which i kinda enjoyed).

    Aktel was solid but he’ll play in Hershey. Good pickup for us. Phillips wasn’t as good as the scoresheet but still good enough to stay while Frank got sent down. He might be fighting for 13/14 F slot with Malensyn and Snively.

    God i want to be rid of Mantha but I’m not willing to pay to move him. But i wouldn’t cry if he got claimed off waivers. Might be best we can hope for.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Unless Mantha and/or Alexyev come alive and/or Miroshnichenko and/or Phillips struggle in the rest of preseason, here are my lines:

    Ovechkin, Kuzenetzov, Wilson
    Miroshnichenko, Backstrom, Oshie
    Milano, Strome, Phillips
    Protas, Dowd, Aube-Kubel

    Fehervary, Carlson
    Sandin, Jensen
    Häman Aktell, van Riemsdyk,

    extras: Mantha, Alexyev

    (Pacioretty, Edmundson – IR)

    Top Fs left off: McMichael, Snively, Lapierre
    Top Ds left off: Iorio, Johansen, McIlrath

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