Everyone can stop holding your breath, for now. If you’re fan of blowing multiple goal leads, you’d love how the Detroit Red Wings are playing as of late. Coming off of an absolutely embarrassing loss Friday against the New York Islanders, the Wings(22-23-9) found a way to just sneak past the Washington Capitals(32-17-6) in overtime tonight.
In a back and forth first period, the Capitals’ star Alex Ovechkin found the net first(4:20). The Red Wings answered back later in the period with a goal from Justin Abdelkader(13:37). After 15 or so minutes of a good defensive second period, the Wings lit up goalie Braden Holtby for three goals in less than three minutes. Starting the scoring barrage was Glendening(16:53), followed by Mantha(17:02) and then the first of two goals for Tomas Tatar(19:49).
That’s just about where the good news ended for the Wings in regulation. The third period was dominated by the Capitals, and after accruing a 4-1 lead, the Red Wings gave it all back in the final 20 minutes. The goals in the third from Washington came from Connolly(2:32), Orlov(14:02) and finally Backstrom(19:43), just seconds before the final horn.
The Red Wings avoided another third period blown lead thanks to a beautiful score from Tomas Tatar(2:47) in overtime. Tatar and Larkin advanced on a two on one two minutes into overtime, and after a money pass by Larkin, Tatar put a pretty fake on Holtby and scored the game winner.
News and Notes
Although the Red Wings were able to beat a pretty good Washington team on the road, their performance was far from perfect. Jimmy Howard was given the start tonight following Petr Mrazek’s awful start on Friday, but Howard showed again why it’s been Mrazek starting the past few weeks. The three third period goals weren’t all necessarily on Howard, but it again highlights a trend that has held the Wings back: defensive and goaltending inconsistency. So often do the Wings find themselves ahead of teams, like tonight, in total shots, but end up losing or squeaking by due to total mishaps defensively.
One positive to take out of tonight, as well as recently, is the Red Wings’ surging offense. A team that has had its struggles scoring has now not scored less than two goals in a matchup since January 25th. If the defense continues to be spotty at best, this Detroit team may have to just simply out shoot and out score teams, especially good ones, if they want to win games.
The Detroit Red Wings will get Monday off to travel back to Little Caesars Arena, where they’ll host the Anaheim Ducks(27-19-10) on Tuesday.