Ovechkin, Capitals edge Red Wings in OT thriller
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Ovechkin scored a power-play goal 2:37 into overtime to lift the Washington Capitals to a wild 6-5 win over the Detroit Red Wings at Verizon Center.
Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith was called for tripping at the 1:26 mark of the extra session. The Capitals moved the puck around and John Carlson fed Ovechkin for a one-timer from the left circle.
Ovechkin's league-leading 39th goal of the season gave Washington a split of this home-and-home set.
Joel Ward registered two goals and one assist and Jason Chimera added a goal and two helpers for the Capitals, who overcame blowing a trio of two-goal leads to win for only the third time in their last 12 games.
Detroit's Gustav Nyquist posted his first career hat trick and picked up an assist on Justin Abdelkader's goal that tied the game at 5-5 in the third period.
The Red Wings beat Washington at home in a shootout on Friday to snap a two- game losing streak.
Nyquist completed the hat trick at the 42-second mark of the third. Henrik Zetterberg faked a shot before firing a pass that Nyquist tipped behind Capitals goaltender Michal Neuvirth, knotting the score at 4-4.
Washington moved back ahead off a giveaway. Forechecking created the turnover in the Detroit zone and led to Troy Brouwer beating Red Wings netminder Jimmy Howard high over the glove at 4:28.
Abdelkader swept in a backhander from close range 1:57 later.
"Offensively we played really well," Zetterberg said. "Some mistakes cost us a few goals, and obviously they're good when they get the power play."
The Capitals took a 3-1 lead in the first period.
"We came out great and they never gave up; they are a really good hockey team," said Washington head coach Adam Oates.
Chimera opened the scoring from a sharp angle on the right side at 4:43 after Ward hit the post. It was the lone even-strength goal in the frame as the next three came on power plays.
Ward made it 2-0 when he set up shop between the circles and hammered home Marcus Johansson's dish from the side boards at 7:20.
The Red Wings ended a long scoring drought on the road at 11:40 on a tally by Nyquist, who jumped on the rebound of Daniel Alfredsson's from the right- circle dot.
Detroit had been shut out in its three previous games away from home.
Carlson restored Washington's two-goal advantage with a slap shot past Howard on the blocker side from the point with 3:55 remaining.
Tomas Tatar fired a wrister under the right arm of Neuvirth to cap a rush and trim Detroit's deficit to 3-2 at 13:30 of the second period.
Ward, however, scored 19 seconds later to give Washington its third two-goal lead of the game.
The Red Wings pulled within one again before the second intermission. Nyquist took a backdoor feed from Zetterberg and beat Neuvirth with 1:11 left for his second power-play goal.
Ward has scored at least one goal in three consecutive games ... Zetterberg finished with three assists ... Neuvirth stopped 25 shots ... Howard turned away 22 shots ... Washington improved to 4-0-1 in its last five games against Detroit ... The Capitals were 3-for-6 on the power play, while the Red Wings were 2-for-3 with the man advantage ... The Capitals began a four-game homestand.
02/02 16:35:28 ET