WASHINGTON, DC – The Washington Capitals kicked off Super Bowl Sunday with an exciting 6 – 5 overtime victory over the visiting Detroit Red Wings. The win begins a four-game home stand for the Caps prior to the Olympic break.
In a back and forth game, that saw the Red Wings Gustav Nyquist get a hat trick, the game ended up belonging to Alex Ovechkin, who earlier in the game missed a golden scoring opportunity while on a first period power play.The game started off with the Capitals tallying the first two goals.
Jason Chimera and Joel Ward scored for the Caps.
“The games that we’ve been coming out hard, we’ve had better success,” Ward said. “I think in Detroit last game, even though we came up short, I thought we started off well. It just gets everybody into it. First shift was great. Seeing how your linemates and teammates are battling out there, you want to kind of follow that up as best you can and keep the ball rolling.”
The Chimera goal was at even strength while the Ward goal was on a power play with Nyquist off for slashing.
“Since last year, we’ve asked him to play more involved,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said of Ward,. “I just know from myself, I’ve asked him to be more involved in our team. He’s a good hockey player. … We need production. We need you to help the other guys out. We’ve got [Ovechkin], we’ve got [Brouwer], we need you to be a goal-scoring threat.”
The Red Wings didn’t register a shot on goal until after the Capitals second goal.
It was Nyquist who got Detroit on the board while Connor Carrick was off the ice serving a two minute cross checking penalty. The capitals got that goal back at 16:05 when John Carlson scored a power play goal with assists from Nick Backstrom and Martin Erat..
The first ten minutes of the second period didn’t have much action except for one save by the Caps Michal Neuvirth. At 13:30 of the period the Wings’ Tomas Tatar scored on a tic-tac-toe passing sequence from Riley Sheahan and Tomas Jurco. Just nineteen seconds later Joel Ward netted his second goal of the game.
Troy Brouwer was called for slashing at 16:52. With only 3 seconds remaining on the power play, Nyquist scored again.
The third period began with the Red Wings scoring just 42 seconds in. That goal completed the hat trick for Nyquist.
On that goal, Henrik Zetterberg faked a shot and passed to an open Nyquist who put in an easy backhander.
The Capitals then had a power play after Tatar went off for tripping. However, it was the Wings who had the better scoring opportunity and ended up killing off the power play.
Brouwer scored an unassisted goal at 4:28.
Several minutes later, Nyquist stole the puck from John Carlson and fed the puck to Justin Abdelkader to tie the game.
With Zetterberg off for tripping at 9:56, the Caps again couldn’t score.
It had appeared towards the end of the third period that the referees had put away the whistles, however they brought them back out in overtime, when Brendan Smith was called for tripping at 1:26. Just 1:11 later, Ovechkin buried the game winner from Carlson and Backstrom.
“I was pretty much open,” Ovechkin said. “Sometimes it’s kind of boring when they put one guy close to you and you’re basically out of the game.”
Oates was pleased with game and stated it was a “very exciting hockey game. One of those games when everything went in.”
Oates also mentioned that there was only one goal that Neuvirth would want back, and that the other goals were due to break downs in front of him.http://
“Every point right now counts,” Ovechkin said. “It’s a good two points. I think next game we are going to feel pretty better, and everything right now has to work fine for us.”
The Caps remain at home for three more games prior to the Olympic break, while the Red Wings return home for a game tomorrow prior to going on the road for two games prior to the break.