The Red Wings extended their winless streak to some big disgusting number and have now not won a home game in a month, so... yay?
I think the reffing in this game was good. The standard seemed consistent and I don't think any egregious fouls were let go in what was a pretty physical game. The Wings managed to put two goals against the league's best penalty kill on four chances and they kept a very dangerous power play off the scoreboard in three Washington power plays. Special teams very well could have been the difference. Overall, the Wings outshot the Caps 37-33
Jimmy Howard was once again just ok in this game. I don't think he cost them a win, but I think he could have earned them one and he didn't. It looked like he was fighting a bit too hard. I don't know if that's true or not, but something just seemed off about his game. He looks like he's coming out a bit too far on shots, although I thought his rebound control was very good.
1st Period 05:50 - Washington Goal: Brooks Laich (backhand) from Steve Olesky
Washington strikes first on a nothing turnover which quickly and inexplicably ends up in the Wings' net. The Wings get too much separation between the forwards and the D as they try to come out of their zone. DeKeyser tries to go from his blue line to Abdelkader at the Washington blue line, but the pass is knocked down and moved quickly to Laich moving behind the Wings' D. He comes in on a semi-challenged break down the right wing and fires a shot on Howard. Jimmy stops it, but he's way out of his crease when the rebound comes back to Laich, who sweeps itt into the net behind him. DeKeyser will get a minus for the turnover. I don't like that neither Franzen nor Quincey knocks Laich on his ass after the initial shot. Each will get a half-minus for this. I'm going to clear Helm and Abdelakder here. They're both moving forward on transition and get let down by the turnover. Their positioning is good coming through the neutral zone.
1st Period 15:52 - Detroit Goal (PP): Johan Franzen (wrist shot) from Jakub Kindl and Danny DeKeyser
The Wings pull even on an absolute snipe from an acute angle on the power play. The Wings' second unit brings the puck up ice and gets into the zone, moving it around quickly to keep the pressure off. After several cycles around the zone to create some looks, Kindl fires from the outside of the circle. The shot goes wide, but bounces up the boards where Franzen recovers. DeKeyser is at the top of the umbrella with Helm in the middle of the ice and Tatar at the net-front. With this setup, the Washington PK is happy to let Franzen have the entire side of the ice to the outside of the faceoff dot to himself. Mule uses this space to get just about even with the dot before snapping a laser of a shot high to the short side. Tomas Tatar will get a screener's assist for perfectly blocking Holtby's view here.
1st Period 18:10 - Detroit Goal: Johan Franzen (wrist shot) from Tomas Tatar and Darren Helm
A beautiful pass and setup brings another marker from the mule at a sharp angle. After a Washington icing and a frozen puck off a point shot by Kindl thanks to a won faceoff, the Wings get another deep faceoff. Helm wins the draw by tying up Grabovski to let Franzen come around and pick the puck up, taking it to the corner before going to Tatar behind the net. Grabovski comes right after Tatar, but he easily dekes around him on the forehand and steps out from behind the net. Right as Tatar starts this, Helm steps from the low slot directly into the net-front space, tying up with Olesky and confusing Erbom who stops his pursuit of Franzen coming out of the corner and instead half tries to front Helm and half tries to challenge Tatar, who by now is crossing into the low circle. Somehow, just before Chimera cuts him off, Tatar finds Franzen alone on the back door with a pass that goes through an area that could be reached by the stick of any of the other four Caps defenders. Joel Ward has just enough time to realize how badly he's blown this coverage before Franzen banks it off Holtby's last-ditch kick save attempt and into the net. The faceoff win and positioning by Helm will earn him a half-plus. Franzen makes a solid play to get to a quiet area and will also get a half-plus. Tatar's deke, turn, and pass will earn him a full plus.
2nd Period 19:42 - Detroit Goal (PP): Danny DeKeyser (slap shot) from Johan Franzen and Jakub Kindl
The Wings get their 2nd PP goal of the night on a cross-ice feed that sets up a one-timed blast from the young DeKeyser for his 2nd career goal. Helm wins a faceoff in the Washington end, creating a point shot that goes wide. Tatar battles to get it back behind the net and then fights up the boards to clear it back up to the point where the Wings make room with Kindl skating to the middle and then passing back to the point he had just left where Franzen waits. Mule carries down to the low corner before going back to Kindl, who moves it over to DeKeyser for a one-timer that goes wide. Franzen picks it back up and beats the pressure of Joel Ward by tapping it back to Kindl. Jakub moves back to the point to reset the umbrella before going back to Franzen. Mule walks it to the top of the circle before lifting one foot and threatening to shoot with Tatar in position in front. This freezes the defense enough to make it a ridiculously easy play when Franzen instead passes to DeKesyer who had snuck down to the opposite faceoff dot and is waiting to blast a one-timer past Holtby to make it 3-1. I think Tatar does good work to keep the puck under pressure and reset the PP. Half-plus for Tatar. Franzen does a lot of the work to make this play happen and will get a plus.
3rd Period 03:19 - Washington Goal: Alexander Ovechkin (wrist shot) from Marcus Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom
The Caps get one back on a definitive goal-scorer's goal thanks to a shot that has no business getting off with as much mustard as it does. Datsyuk loses a faceoff in front of Holtby and the puck goes the other way. Kronwall steps up to keep Ovechkin from getting a zone-entry pass, but Backstrom is first on the puck in the corner with Ericsson trailing him. Backstrom circles behind the net to the half-boards with Riggy bothering him before dropping it back to the corner where Johansson gets position on Datsyuk and is able to escape below the goal line with the puck. Just as he approaches the trapezoid line, Johanssen feeds it up to Ovechkin standing low in the circle. Kronwall is very close, but Ovi simply taps the pass as it comes to him and the puck goes through Kronwall's legs and beats Howard over the shoulder. This is a very good goal by Ovi, who had just about no time to make this shot and still put it over the goalie. I'm going to clear the minuses to Bertuzzi and Zetterberg, as they're not involved in this sequence. I'm going to let Kronwall and Ericsson keep their minuses as they have a regular level of involvement. I'm not sure there's a legal way for Kronwall to be covering Ovechkin closely enough to prevent this. The mistake here is when Datsyuk allows Johansson to get free. This will cost Datsyuk a minus.
3rd Period 11:54 - Washington Goal: Michael Latta (backhand) from John Carlson and Karl Alzner
The Caps pull even on another breakdown in the third period. This time, Datsyuk gives the puck away just inside the Washington blue line as he gets trapped there and then has a blind backhand pass blocked by Joel Ward. Ward heads up ice with Chimera in a 2-on-1 against Lashoff, as Quincey is slightly behind the play. Q makes a diving play to poke the puck away from Chimera to the corner. Latta gets the puck and immediately goes to the point for Alzner, who goes to the opposite point for Carlson where there's more room. Carlson throws a puck at the front of the net just as Chimera drags across the front of Howard. Chimera misses the tip, but the momentary screen keeps Howard from holding the rebound. The puck ends up right on Latta's stick on the back door for the easy put-away to tie the game. Bertuzzi will be cleared and Zetterberg halved. Z could stand to be a little more aggressive on Carlson at the point, but he's far from being the problem here. Lashoff makes the right play here. He can't interfere with Chimera in front so instead he ties up the stick to prevent the tip-in. I'm going to clear Lashoff's minus on this play. The direct scoring play isn't terribly on Quincey, who should technically be on Latta here, but is pushed off that responsibility by Datsyuk (who should be watching Ward in the slot). I'm going to give Quincey an extra minus though. He's the reason he had to make such a good diving pokecheck in the first place (by being out of position) and this allows the Caps to hold possession. he also needs to more-firmly cover Latta to let Datsyuk know to go bug somebody else. Datsyuk makes a turnover which will earn him a minus, but he's also not tying up Latta (which is what he's out of position to do in the first place. This will earn Pavel a coverage minus as well.
1st Period 07:13 - Brian Lashoff (holding): Lashoff goes off for using too much arm in a scrum on the boards against Chimera as he's losing a battle in his own zone. Minus for Lashoff.
1st Period 14:09 - Tom Wilson (cross checking): Tomas Tatar and Drew Miller do some great work to create transition and offensive chances. They get the Caps running around, leading to a cross-checking call on Wilson as he fights with Abdelkader in front of the net. I'm going to give Abdelkader a half-plus, with a full plus to Miller and Tatar, who do the bulk of the work creating this play.
2nd Period 08:59 - Niklas Kronwall (hooking): The wings get caught in their own zone a little bit and Kronwall loses body position on Ovechkin, bringing him down behind the net to earn a penalty. Minus for Kronwall.
2nd Period 12:04 - Alex Urbom (high sticking): Franzen does some creative stickwork in the Washington zone to get the defense running around a bit. His attempt to get it to the front is stopped, but he draws the Caps into a penalty. Plus for Franzen.
2nd Period 17:54 - Tom Wilson (holding): Andersson presses hard in the neutral zone, getting position on Wilson and forcing a hold when he gets position. Plus for Andersson.
2nd Period 20:00 - Niklas Kronwall (holding): Kronner and Ovechkin are fighting for position coming down the boards into the Wings zone. Ovie yanks on Kronwall to knock him off balance. In response, Kronner wraps his hand around Ovechkin's head to slow him down. Just the second penalty is called, but it's an easy call to make. I'm only going to give Kronwall a half-minus on this one because it's a direct uncalled penalty which causes this reaction.
3rd Period 07:38 - Troy Brouwer (interference): The Caps get a zone entry rush interrupted when Troy Brouwer decides that this would be a good time to step out of his lane and into Darren Helm. I think Brouwer is expecting contact that doesn't come, but it's almost sneaky dirty. I'm not going to make an adjustment here. Helm doesn't draw this.
Overtime 01:11 - Danny DeKeyser (hooking): DK is chasing Backstrom up the boards trying to lift his stick. The innocent stick lift turns into an obvious hook the farther up the boards these two go and by the time they reach the point, DK has his stick all in Backstrom's midsection. Minus for DeKeyser.
Overtime 02:25 - Nicklas Backstrom (tripping): The Capitals end their own power play on some great net-front battling on a loose puck by the Wings. Quincey first get some pressure on the PP unit, but the penalty comes when Lashoff blocks a Backstrom shot and then keeps body position to get to it first for the clear. Backstrom takes out Lashoff's legs and goes to the box. Lashoff will get a full plus and Quincey a half-plus on this play.
-1 to Daniel Cleary and Mikael Samuelsson: Worse than invisible in a game when we needed visibility. Not excusable.
+1 to Danny DeKeyser: He wasn't bad enough to be -3, but he wasn't amazing enough to be better than his adjusted -2.
Kind of a brutal score for Datsyuk, but he seemed to have an off-game in this one and that's what happens when you have an off game against top competition.
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