- The Washington Times - Friday, October 20, 2017

DETROIT — It took overtime to decide Barry Trotz’s 1,450th game as an NHL head coach, but Alex Ovechkin made sure his coach’s historic night was a winning one.

The Russian’s goal in the extra period Friday gave the Washington Capitals a gritty 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings on a night when Trotz passed Hall-of-Famer Dick Irvin to move into sixth all-time for NHL games coached. 

“The first period, I thought we played really good — didn’t really get rewarded — and they scored a short-handed goal (in the second period) and got a little momentum off of that,” Trotz said after the win. “We sort of battled back, and we scored a short-handed goal, and they got momentum when they scored that tip goal (in the third).”

Overtime was set up when T.J. Oshie tied the game at three apiece with 1:01 left in the third on a power play with Braden Holtby pulled from the net. 

Just over a minute into overtime, Ovechkin drew a tripping call, giving the Capitals a 4-on-3 advantage. 

Ovechkin would capitalize on the power play 47 seconds into the man advantage. 

“Ovi shoots it,” Trotz said. “The reason he’s scored a gazillion goals in this league is because he shoots it better than anybody out there, and if you give him enough opportunities, they’re going to go in. He shoots them in volume, he shoots them hard, and they’re going to find the back of the net eventually.” 

Nicklas Backstrom’s pass to Ovechkin set up the game-winning goal as Ovechkin’s one-timer in the left circle blew past Detroit goaltender Petr Mrazek.

Ovechkin, the league’s leading scorer, picked up his 10th goal of the season and helped the Capitals snap a two-game losing streak.

Jay Beagle, playing in his 400th career game, recorded a goal in the third, and Andre Burakovsky had two points in the win.

Holtby ended the night with 34 saves, and the Capitals allowed a short-handed goal in the second period, their third allowed this season.

Thomas Tatar scored two goals in the third period for Detroit

The game was scoreless after the opening period, with the Capitals holding a 14-13 edge in shots. 

It marked the fifth straight period the Capitals had been held without a goal. 

The Capitals were short-handed twice in the first frame, but their penalty-kill unit stood strong, preventing Detroit from capitalizing on the man advantage.

Washington had a prime opportunity to take the lead just over midway through the first. 

The Red Wings’ Riley Sheahan was called for high sticking 9:51 into the game. 

Detroit was able to kill off the penalty, but just seconds after the penalty expired, Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov snuck past two Detroit defenders, leaving just Detroit‘s netminder between Kuznetsov and the back of the net.

But Mrazek came away with the save to keep the game scoreless. 

A turnover by Ovechkin proved costly early in the second period. 

With the Red Wings short a man, Ovechkin’s cross-ice pass in Detroit territory was intercepted by Detroit forward Darren Helm. 

Helm took the puck alongside the left side of the ice where his wrist shot near the top of the left circle rifled by the right shoulder pad of Holtby, giving the Red Wings a 1-0 lead. 

Burakovsky evened the game with 52 seconds left in the second period. 

Burakovksy’s wrist shot at the top of the left circle got by Mrazek, tying the game at one apiece and ending the Capitals’ scoring drought. 

Beagle gave the Capitals their first lead 1:25 into the third. With Brooks Orpik in the box for tripping, Taylor Chorney deflected a shot by the Red Wings in the Capitals‘ zone, and Alex Chiasson chased after the puck.

Chiasson dove for the puck, which eventually found the stick of Beagle, who shook himself free of Detroit’s defenders. 

On the breakaway, Beagle’s shot from the slot got by Mrazek, giving Beagle his first goal of the season and the Capitals a 2-1 lead. 

The assist by Chiasson was his first assist as a Capital. Tomas Tatar responded just under four minutes later on a redirection off a slapshot near the left circle to tie the game at 2-2. 

Tatar scored again after center Henrik Zetterberg’s pass along the left side of the boards found his stick. 

Tatar’s shot from the right circle got past Holtby to take a 3-2 edge over the Capitals, before Oshie sent the game into overtime. 

 

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