Caps beat Wings 4-3 in OT

The Washington Capitals hosted an auspicious game against the Detroit Red Wings on Monday night. We expected to celebrate a star; we just didn’t know the star would be Nic Dowd.

David Perron lifted a backhander to beat Charlie Lindgren to put Detroit on the board first. The Wings made it 2-0 off Oskar Sundqvist’s stick, taking a flawless pass from Jonatan Berggren (fun name to spell, definitely didn’t have to double-check that one).

Nic Dowd scored twice in the second period. Eleven seconds apart.

Lucas Raymond restored Detroit’s lead on the rush five minutes into the third period, but Erik Gustafsson – the dynamo – knotted it up soon after. That earned us overtime.

Dmitry Orlov won it in overtime!

Caps win!

  • Washington absolutely thrashed Detroit in the possession game. The puck was always on a Caps player’s stick, except when it wasn’t, and then it was on a scary rush attack against Charlie Lindgren. The Wings are a growing team, and they’re a bit top heavy, but holy hell they can generate chances quickly.
  • Nic Dowd, my favorite player of the year! He scored two goals, sixth and seventh, eleven seconds apart. His first goal: absolute skill play with the curl-and-drag. His second di lui: an opportunistic tip-in. He’s well on pace to break his single-season record of eleven. A lot of people seem to think Hathaway is carrying the weight in that pairing. I think Dowd is special in his own right.
  • There was some controversy after the second Dowd goal, with the Wings seemingly trying to lawyer their way out of it. The appeal did not work, and a bit of a donnybrook followed on the next shift, with Mantha trying to take on three Wings players by himself like my Genji while I’m trying to keep him healed as Ana. Oh, this is an Overwatch reference by the way.
  • Yevgeny Kuznetsov temporarily left the game with seven minutes left in the third. He nursed his shoulder after taking a hit (crosscheck? elbow) from Moritz Seider. Kuznetsov has had a weird season so far – just one goal at five-on-five, but he’s been a tremendous point guard anyway: elite tier in primary assists. Even if it feels like he’s having an off season, the team needs him badly. Kuznetsov returned for overtime.
  • I did not like Lars Eller taking a hooking penalty 190 feet from his own net. Sundqvist scored on that one. Eller redeemed himself with a nice pass to Erik Gustafsson in the third.
  • Gustafsson has been the subject of intense, heated, prolonged, toxic, sometimes violent debate in the RMNB discord. This player who I could not have cared less about in September is now a top-pairing D-boy and a crucial component of their offense-first-maybe-defense-later-if-it’s-not-too-much-trouble attitude. I, of course, love this, and people who care about “good” and “normal” hockey don’t.
  • Alex Ovechkin rang the post on a power play in the second period, then he did it again in the third. A rung post doesn’t count as a shot on goal, so it didn’t even count towards his other record chase: most ever shots on goal, where he trails Ray Bourque by single digits.
  • The fans at Capital One Arena chanted “Ovi! Ovi! Ovi!” during a power play. I don’t like it. I feel like it’s presumptuous – like the power play is an Ovechkin goal factory, which is smaller than what it really is.

Another great game. We had been whining on here about the quality of the Caps as an entertainment product. After weeks of good games – many of them wins no less – that complaint goes into the drawer. Not sure if the Caps are good yet (a convo for another day), but for now they’re fun. And that’s a lot.

See you Thursday for a roadie in Ottawa.

Headline photos: @Senorferrrree

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