Red Wings fail to capitalize on Husso performance, lose 4-3 in overtime to Caps
Ville Husso stopped 38 shots Monday night, but his team failed around him as they drop their sixth in a row
Something something 1998 reference. Anyways, the Detroit Red Wings go on the road once again to take on the Washington Capitals in a battle of two teams going in different directions. The Red Wings come into this game having lost five games in a row while playing their worst hockey of the season. Meanwhile, the Capitals have now won six of their last seven after a mediocre first two months of the season. It’s a tough ask for a team who has been reeling, but they need to bounce back sooner rather than later if they want a shot at the playoffs later in the season.
The big story coming into this game is Alexander Ovechkin. Ovechkin comes into this game on 800 career goals, just one behind Red Wings legend Gordie Howe for second place all-time. The Red Wings will have to do everything they can to stop arguably the greatest goal-scorer in history from doing that against Howe’s team. As cool as it’d be to see history, it’d also be nice to win a hockey game again.
In goal tonight, the Red Wings once again send out Ville Husso. He’s coming off a rough night against Ottawa where he let five goals past him, but he has bounced back from similar performances earlier in the year. The Capitals will send out Charlie Lindgren, who has been very solid this season so far. In 13 starts and 15 appearances, he has a 2.70 GAA and .913 SV% as the backup to Darcy Kuemper. With that being said, let’s see if the Red Wings can finally turn things around.
The first big moment of the game comes from Washington. The puck gets thrown towards the net and it ends up loose in the crease and nearly crosses the goal line. However, it gets cleared out by the Red Wings before the Capitals can get to it. Play slows down for a bit as neither team gets a big chance, but the Capitals do pepper Husso with shots from outside.
Seven minutes into the first, the Caps get an excellent chance as Ovechkin throws the puck toward the net. The rebound shoots out but the Capitals are unable to pick up the rebound. 30 seconds later, Dylan Larkin and Michael Rasmussen forecheck behind the Washington net and force a turnover. Larkin throws a backhand pass in front to David Perron who scoops it up in the slot AND BACKHANDS IT OVER LINDGREN’S SHOULDER AND IN!!! 1-0 RED WINGS JUST 6:30 INTO THE GAME!!!
Where ya hide the cookies! #LGRW pic.twitter.com/cf5azKYNnj— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 20, 2022
That was Detroit’s first shot in over five minutes of play, but they get the lead off it. An excellent two-man forecheck from Larkin and Rasmussen played it so well and the Red Wings get the early lead. Perron picks up his tenth goal of the season. Larkin and Rasmussen each pick up assists on the goal. Shortly after, a stoppage in play gets the first TV time out of the game.
Right out, the Red Wings get another excellent opportunity. A takeaway by Lucas Raymond in the offensive zone gets Andrew Copp a great chance, but Lindgren makes the save. They get another excellent chance off a defensive zone faceoff. Larkin and Oskar Sundqvist get a two-on-one rush but some excellent defensive play from Washington prevents them from getting a shot.
A couple of minutes later, the Capitals get a scary chance when the puck flies up in the air right by the net, but Husso makes a great stop. Immediately after on a chance the other way, Perron gets a chance at his 11th on a redirection in front, but the puck just goes wide. Washington continues to fire the puck from outside on Husso, bringing their shot total to nine in the first 13:30 of the period. Just after this, Lars Eller hooks Jordan Oesterle to send the Red Wings on their first power play of the game.
The Red Wings come into this game just 1-for-15 on their last 15 power plays. And it looks like the same struggle as they can’t get a good look. In the final 20 seconds of the power play, however, Jonatan Berggren finds Sundqvist in front of the net AND HE BURIES IT!!! 2-0 RED WINGS JUST LIKE THAT ON SUNNY’S FIFTH OF THE SEASON!!!
Tonight's forecast: SUNNY! #LGRW pic.twitter.com/ZZoXEZR5rw— Detroit Red Wings (@DetroitRedWings) December 20, 2022
The power play struggles looked like they’d continue until that great play. Berggren and Veleno each pick up assists as the Red Wings really have played their best period of hockey in weeks. Washington had a shot removed from their total as shots are 8-5 after the goal, and they stay that way going into the final TV timeout.
Coming out of the break, the Red Wings get another chance as this time, Dominik Kubalik and Sundqvist get a two-on-one, but once again Lindgren comes up big. Play quiets down until Berggren picks up a holding minor with just over 30 seconds remaining in the period. Ovechkin does get one good shot at Husso, but he makes the save and the period comes to an end with the score still 2-0 Red Wings.
Again, that was the best period the Red Wings have played in weeks. I’m pretty sure they had more scoring chances in that period than they did the entire Hurricanes game last week. You couldn’t tell from the shots, however, as Washington outshot Detroit 10-6 in the period. They just have to work on hitting the net on their chances as they had multiple high-quality chances go wide. That said, they’ll have to get their penalty kill playing better to make sure the game isn’t quickly 2-1 in the first minute and a half of the second.
The Capitals power play is super quite early on as they can’t find a good look. They finally do in the final seconds as Evgeny Kuznetsov gives Marcus Johansson the puck in front. Johansson makes a nifty move in front, but Husso makes a fantastic glove save to keep Washington off the board. There’s another scary chance for the Capitals just after the power play on a scrum in front, but Husso takes care of it again.
Washington gets another scary chance just about a minute later as Dmitry Orlov rings one off the goalpost. Husso then makes another big save on Sonny Milano. The Red Wings finally get their first chance of the period on a rush up the ice where Larkin finds Rasmussen in front of the net. However, Lindgren makes the save and a scrum ensues after Larkin takes exception to former Red Wings defenseman Nick Jensen tripping Ras on the play. No penalty on the play, but always love seeing the captain stand up for his teammates.
The play quiets down for a couple of minutes, but the Red Wings get another excellent chance at the 15-minute mark. Jake Walman makes a great move and the puck ends up on the stick of Sundqvist, whose chance once again gets turned aside by Lindgren. Walman then gets a big slapshot shortly after but once again, Lindgren turns it aside. The Capitals immediately follow up with a rush and chance of their own, but Husso makes saves on Kuznetsov and John Carlson. Carlson also rings one off the post, but they just can’t beat Husso.
The Red Wings end up picking up a too-many-men penalty just after the 13-minute mark and we head into the first TV timeout with the Caps going on their second power play. They once again limit the Capitals chances early, but Kuznetsov finds Conor Sheary streaking past the defenseman for a breakaway. However, Husso once again plays it beautifully and shuts the door on Sheary to keep Washington off the board. Credit to all the Wings fans at this game who let out a big “HUUUUUUUSSSSS” chant every time he makes a save. I hear you.
The game heads to the second TV timeout with Washington still in control of the momentum. Right after, Walman hooks Milano as he’s going to the net, giving the Capitals their third power play of the game and period. This time, they get an excellent chance early as a bouncing puck finds the stick of Ovechkin at the bottom of the left circle. He takes a backhand which takes a deflection and rings off the post. It’s the last real chance they get as a couple of clearances from Detroit kills off the power play.
The Red Wings struggle to get the puck out of their zone for a while but are still able to limit the Capitals to shots from distance. Eventually, Washington gets an excellent chance as Erik Gustaffson, coming off a hat trick against Toronto, gets the puck in front but Husso once again comes up big. The stoppage sends us to the final TV timeout. Shots are 12-6 in favor of Washington this period as they have peppered Husso.
About a minute or so after the break, Washington heads on a rush after a Red Wings failed chance. Nic Down gets the pass at the blue line and makes Raymond look absolutely sill with a dangle. He then fires a wrist shot off the iron and in to finally put Washington on the board. 2-1 lead for the Red Wings. While I’m typing all of this, Washington scores again. Jensen rifles a shot from the top of the right circle and Dowd redirects it past Husso. The Red Wings are debating challenging it, so we’ll see if this one stands.
Things are taking an oddly long time, so we still don’t know what’s happening. Either way, no challenge is made and now the score is 2-2. That was such a weird moment but the Capitals score two goals in 11 seconds to tie this game up. The pressure was coming big time, and you can only expect Husso to hold them off for so long. The Red Wings need something to spark them because they haven’t been the same team they were in the first.
Could a scrum be that spark? After an Anthony Mantha chance on a wraparound, the two teams get into it with the biggest moment being between Walman and Mantha. Walman gets Mantha a little shove, and Mantha retaliates with a punch to the head. I haven’t figured out why, but while Mantha and Walman each went to the box, Ovechkin joined them so the Red Wings have a power play for the second time today.
They finally announced that Mantha got two minor penalties so that’s why Ovechkin is in the box. Either way, Detroit once again can’t get anything going offensively. They pick up a shot early but get no quality chances and go to 1-for-2 on the power play this game. After another couple of minutes, Trevor van Riemsdyk picks up a hooking call while Capitals fans were mad that Ovi skated through the crease and got tripped by Husso. I mean, that’s Husso’s space, I don’t know what they want.
Either way, Detroit gets 37 seconds of a power play which creates nothing. The team that created six scoring chances in the first period can’t get anything going. The period comes an end with the score still tied, 2-2. Shots in that period were 17-7 in favor of Washington. If it wasn’t for Husso, the Capitals would absolutely be leading. The team needs to get back to how they played in the first or this will be a long third period.
The Red Wings get just one good chance on the power play as David Perron fires a slap shot from the left circle that Lindgren stops. Other than that, there isn’t much going as they are now 1-for-3 on the power play. Play starts to tilt the way of the Capitals as they get three more shots on goal. However, a two-on-one for Copp and Raymond heads the other way and Copp makes a pass to Raymond. Raymond FIRES A WRIST SHOT PAST LINDGREN AND SCORES!!! 3-2 RED WINGS ON THE BEAUTIFUL FEED AND SHOT BY COPP AND RAYMOND!!!
Raymond gets his eighth goal of the season while Copp and Määttä pick up the assists. The Red Wings need it because Washington still keeps up the pressure. And just like that, Gustaffson gets the puck and rips it past Husso and ties it at 3-3. Just when it looked like the Red Wings might get some momentum, just like that Washington grabs it back. Eller and Nicolas Aube-Kubel pick up the assists. Shortly after, we get a stoppage and head to our first TV timeout of the period.
Coming out, we get a lot of back and forth between the two teams. Shots are 7-2 Washington in this period and as I typed that sentence, the Capitals add two more shots for nine in the first nine minutes of the third. Husso is gonna have to stay on to keep this a tie game because he is just getting peppered. They get a couple of more chances before we head to another commercial break.
A bit of a weird moment right out of the break and Kuznetsov pulls the puck out of the zone to lead to an offside call but takes a hit from Mo Seider as he does it. It was far from one of Mo’s bigger hits, but Kuznetsov is very slow getting up. Not sure if he landed on something or what, but we’ll see if he comes back. Play actually slows down for a bit for the first time in a while as neither team gets a quality chance for a few minutes. Washington finally gets an excellent chance just past the five-minute mark as Ovechkin gets a one-timer from the top of the slot, but Husso comes up with a massive save to keep this one tied.
Ovechkin gets another fantastic chance just past the 2:30 mark, but Husso makes another fantastic stop. This leads to the last stoppage of the period with the game still tied at 3-3. Husso now has 36 saves on 39 shots and it feels so good to have a goalie who can consistently have these performances. I just wish he could get some help from his teammates because right now, it looks like the only chance the Red Wings have is if they can hold it off to a shootout. They’ve been outshot 12-4 so far in the third period.
The Red Wings actually get a couple of decent looks right after the break, but neither lead to a shot on goal. After that, it looks like they’re just playing for overtime as they just try to play good zone defense and dump the puck out. They do get a shot on a three-on-two rush that Lindgren stops just before regulation expired to send this game to overtime. Shots are 39-18 through regulation in favor of the Capitals as Ville Husso has absolutely kept the Wings in this game. Now, it’s time for overtime.
Perron-Rasmussen-Seider starts out the overtime against Ovechkin-Eller-Carlson. Neither team gets a chance early on through the first minute as the Red Wings get the much more offensive Larkin-Raymond-Hronek trio out there. They create the first big chance as Raymond gets a pass to Hronek in the slot wide open, but he fires the shot off the crossbar. An incredible chance goes begging there for Detroit.
We get a stoppage in the Capitals end at the 2:18 mark of the period and neither team has registered a shot on goal. The Red Wings have played excellent defense in the OT and have the only good chance so far. There is a scary moment as a complete defensive breakdown as Eller is found wide open in front, but can’t handle the pass and misses out on the chance. Right after this, Kuznetsov drives to the net with the puck and Husso makes an incredible poke check, but the puck bounces off Rasmussen, forcing Husso to make a save on the play.
The Red Wings get a fantastic chance off the ensuing draw off a three-on-two, but Larkin doesn’t get anyone open in the top of the slot to pass it to. Heading into the final 30 seconds, it looks like we might be heading to a shootout. However, the Capitals get a last chance as Orlov gets found on the top of the right circle with a pass. He rips a one-time slap shot that Husso never had a chance on and finds the back of the net. 4-3, Capitals win in overtime in a crushing loss for the Red Wings.
FUCK!!! Ville Husso deserved that win. He played so well and I’m genuinely angry and frustrated that he didn’t get what he absolutely deserved in that game. The offense just wasn’t there after the first period. This is the third time in this six-game losing streak that they’ve had 20 shots on goal or fewer with just 19 tonight. They were outshot 42-19 by a team missing two of their top four offensive players in Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie. It’s just bad defensive hockey, which is something they actually were pretty good at early this season.
And the thing is, things don’t get any easier. They host the three-time Eastern Conference champs in the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday. Sure, their last win was against Tampa Bay but with how this team is playing right now, it’s gonna be a struggle against one of the best teams in the NHL. Husso will give this team a chance in net, but they need to play better around him and in front of him. See y’all on Wednesday, and have a good night.