Capitals clip Red Wings in OT, win 4-3

The Capitals earned an overtime victory tonight on a Dimitry Orlov goal with just 22 seconds remaining in the extra session. Hockey fans in the DMV were focused on Alex Ovechkin’s quest for the goal scoring record and hoping he would tie or perhaps pass the legendary Gordie Howe tonight, but once again were forced to wait. Nonetheless, the fans were treated to an exciting back and forth game with numberous scoring chances.

After a strong beginning with several early chances on goalie Ville Husso, the Capitals ended up falling behind by period’s end. David Perron deftly placed a backhander underneath the crossbar at 7:30. Detroit center Oskar Sundqvist added to the lead at 15:36 with a power play goal, s snapper from within the slot area.

The Red Wings held on to the lead despite being badly outshot by the Capitals well into the second period. The home team’s rally gradually intensified through the period. Nic Dowd finally broke through not once but twice 11 seconds apart. The first goal resulted from Ovechkin gaining the zone and then finding Dowd in the high slot. Dowd after a wonderful toe drag move fired the puck just above Husso’s glove. The second goal was not quite so pretty. Nick Jensen put a point shot toward the net where Dowd had charged in front. He then redirected the puck into the net to tie the game.

The third period featured the Caps increasingly attacking. Lucas Raymond put Detroit ahead at 4:49 on a 2-on-1 play. An airborne puck got past Ovechkin, springing the two forwards. Erik Gustafsson tied the game once more at 5:59 on a backdoor play with Lars Eller finding him on the left side of the net. In the the last minutes of regulation, Ovechkin was double shifted in an effort to not only keep up the offense but to give him all possible chance of tying Howe.

Overtime followed with both teams trading chances to win. After the final minute, Nic Dowd recovered a blocked shot then carried the puck into the offensive zone. He then dropped it back to Marcus Johansson who found Orlov just above the right circle. Orlov then unleashed his powerfully lethal blast on the net that sizzled by Husso, nicked the inside of the post then tumbled into the net. The game ended with the roar of the CapitalOne crowd.

NOTES—Dowd was actually a game time decision coming off a lower body injury that forced him to miss the previous game against Toronto. Nicholas Aube-Kubel had the primary assist on both game tying goals; he now has four points in the four games played since being reinserted in the lineup. At the time of this article the Caps were in the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Their next game is Thursday night in Ottawa, Ontario Canada against the Senators with a scheduled start time of 7 PM ET.

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