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RECAP: Capitals continue to surge, Red Wings continue to sink in 6-3 loss

Detroit Red Wings v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Let’s be honest, I don’t think one single Red Wings fan came into tonight expecting a win. Hell, I didn’t even expect more than one goal, so at least I came out satisfied.

The problem is that the Red Wings laid a defensive stinker tonight, handing the Capitals their fifth straight win, and their 11th straight at home. Let’s break into observations...

1st period observations

The Capitals certainly looked to be the quicker team early on, but the Red Wings picked up the speed to counter that. Notable play by Tomas Tatar and Anthony Mantha to create some decent chances. I’m still unimpressed with Brendan Smith’s play. The Capitals were able to open up the scoring on a goal from Marcus Johansson on a play where Smith and his partner Ryan Sproul didn’t look particularly good:

As you can see in the play above, Andreas Athanasiou made one hell of an effort to try and break this play up. I just wanted to put that on record since the coach probably won’t.

The Wings were able to tie it up on a surging shift where Andreas Athanasiou and Ryan Sproul found a good stride. Athanasiou turn Alexander Ovechkin around and let off a nasty shot for his 12th:

The Red Wings drew a penalty shortly after Athanasiou’s goal, and it was none other than Athanasiou to pull the Red Wings ahead by one with some good work by Mike Green and Thomas Vanek to setup AA for another sick shot:

Unfortunately, the Capitals would tie it back up before the period would end. Brett Connolly found a loose puck on the side of the net and blew it past Danny DeKeyser and a helpless Petr Mrazek.

Apparently AA is our only hope going forward.

2nd period observations

The Capitals, again, came out fast. So fast that it took TJ Oshie less than two minutes to break the tie with his ridiculous wrist shot. After the goal, the Caps continued to push the Wings back into their zone. They blew a couple of chances, which is fortunate for the Wings because the game could have easily been 4-2 just outside of five minutes into the game.

Jonathan Ericsson left the game early after going into the boards awkwardly on an unintentional play by Nicklas Backstrom. Shortly after that, the Capitals announced Andre Burakovsky would not return.

Anthony Mantha made a really nice play near halfway through the period to turn a breakaway off of a shot he blocked, but got set on his backhand — something he isn’t savvy with — my guess is if he was set on his forehand, he would have scored with no problem. So, halfway through the period, the Capitals are outshooting the Red Wings 21-10, which is not very good for those of you reading from home.

Luke Glendening drew a penalty on a breakaway, which the Red Wings were unable to capitalize off of, due to the fact that it’s just not a good power-play. But hey, look at Fatima Al Ali drop the puck at the game tonight:

After two periods, shots are 25-12 and the Caps are winning 3-2. That’s about all I can say!

3rd period observations

The beginning of the 3rd floated by, but it didn’t take but three minutes for the Red Wings to tie the game up. It took some brilliant play by Anthony Mantha and great patience with Henrik Zetterberg to backhand the game-tying goal past Braden Holtby:

And like how most of this game has gone, the Red Wings gave up a goal shortly after. Lazy defense by Danny DeKeyser led the Capitals to their 4th goal of the night. DeKeyser isn’t having a good game tonight, and hasn’t had a good game in quite some time. That contract will haunt me until I die.

RANT: I am so sick of DeKeyser’s exemption of any blame for anything. I find that he’s often making mistakes on very simple plays, but someone else always gets blamed. Why?

TJ Oshie put a bow on this game with his second goal to make it 5-3 on the power-play after Brendan Smith took a penalty.

The Caps scored an empty-net goal to make it 6-3, a goal that had Athanasou (someone who will probably be criticized for being on ice for multiple goals tonight) on ice. That’s all, folks.

Hey, it’s what we expected, right?

The Wings inch closer to a below mediocre record at the trade deadline in which we all await some bold moves to be made.

Next up, it doesn’t get easier. The Red Wings will see the Blue Jackets on Saturday, and Wild on Sunday. Good luck with that!