It was bound to end sometime. The Capitals’ winning streak was snapped at nine Wednesday night – in the second half of a back-to-back, with a goalie making his first start in nine days and several top players out of the lineup.
And let’s not forget it was on the road against perhaps the second-best team in the league. At the end of the night it was a 3-2 loss to the Red Wings, but it’s not one that should cause alarm around the Caps.
Detroit won thanks to a couple goals by all-world forward Henrik Zetterberg – one of which beat Michal Neuvirth short side. The goalie was starting for the first time since March 7, a game he left with an eye injury. Back to 100 percent, he got the nod and was above average for his first game back.
Injuries have started to pile up for the Caps to the point where D.J. King was inserted into the lineup in place of Eric Fehr, who’s day-to-day according to the team website. King picked up an assist, but his presence in the lineup just showed how far Washington is with injuries.
Right now, the Caps are without Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Arnott and Eric Fehr up front and Mike Green, Tom Poti and John Erskine (sickness) on defense – plus, Semyon Varlamov working his way back.
Given that, it would have been very impressive for the Caps to beat Detroit and hit double-digits on this run.
“Pretty good game to watch. It was fun to play,” Ovechkin told reporters at Joe Louis Arena, as quoted by the Associated Press. “It was tough for us. They have a great team.”
So they fell one short of setting a new franchise record for consecutive road victories. So they missed out on this chance to (temporarily) step into first place in the Eastern Conference. But it wasn’t a poorly played loss, and there was nothing in this that should be cause for concern.
And, of course, the road swing continues Friday night at the Devils.