AllNHL

Ovechkin nets Hat Trick as Capitals rout Red Wings (12-11-18)



By: Ryan Fowler

Headline Graphic Credit: Darrell Owens-LMS Network

WASHINGTON – Alex Ovechkin had a hat trick for the Washington Capitals to extend his point streak to 12 games in a 6-2 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Capital One Arena on Tuesday.

It was Ovechkin’s first hat trick since Nov. 25, 2017, and the 21st of his NHL career, tied for 12th all time. He leads the NHL with 25 goals.

“He’s playing really well. Making different plays. He’s being a threat at all times,” said Washington goalie Braden Holtby, who made 35 saves. “He’s continuing off [how] he played the last couple of months last season, and you can tell he’s having fun. He’s finding the fun and working hard, and that’s a good thing for us.”

Nicklas Backstrom had four assists for the Capitals (18-9-3), who have won three games in a row and 10 of 12. 

Dylan Larkin and Gustav Nyquist scored for the Red Wings (14-14-4), who were coming off a 3-1 win against the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. Jonathan Bernier allowed five goals on 15 shots before being replaced by Jimmy Howard, who made nine saves.

“Certainly, we’ve given up way too many chances the last couple games,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “You’re not going to survive giving up those kinds of chances, so we need to make sure we get back to making teams earn their offense.”

T.J. Oshie returned to Washington’s lineup after missing 11 games because of an upper-body injury and scored his 10th goal.

“It felt good. Obviously, winning that way is a nice way to come back,” he said. “I don’t feel like I messed up any of the guys’ mojo.”

The Capitals had scored 12 straight goals over three games, including a 4-0 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Dec. 8, before Larkin’s third-period goal.

TWIZZLING THE TWINE

Brett Connolly gave Washington a 1-0 lead at 3:39 of the first period when he deflected John Carlson‘s slap shot from the point on the power play.

The Capitals’ fourth line made it 2-0 when Travis Boyd scored his second goal of the season, second in two games, at 10:50 off a pass from Nic Dowd.

Ovechkin put Washington ahead 3-0 at 12:59 when his shot that was headed wide deflected in off Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall.

“It was kind of bad shot by me, hit Kronwall shin pad, and goes in,” said Ovechkin, who has 13 goals and six assists during his point streak.

Ovechkin made it 4-0 at 9:05 of the second period, and Oshie scored a power-play goal from the slot off a pass from Backstrom at 10:06 to make it 5-0.

“They’re a team that skates well and can create a lot in the offensive zone, and we just didn’t have good sustained puck pressure,” Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader said.

Larkin scored at 1:03 of the third period to make it 5-1. He has eight points (three goals, five assists) in a five-game point streak.

Ovechkin completed his hat trick when his shot trickled past Howard at 9:33 to make it 6-1.

Nyquist scored at 16:42 for the 6-2 final score.

The Capitals went 2-for-2 on the power play. The Red Wings were 0-for-1.

“We came in tonight and the one thing we made a statement [about] as a coaching staff, we said, ‘Hey, we’ve got to win the special-teams battle,'” Blashill said. “We did not do that. Not even close.”

 POWER PLAY

It was Ovechkin’s 126th multigoal game in the NHL, moving him past Dino Ciccarelli for 11th all time…Ovechkin’s 21 hat tricks are tied with Glenn Anderson and Richard Martin, one behind Teemu Selanne for 11th in NHL history…Ovechkin’s NHL career-high point streak is 13 games (Jan. 1-Feb. 1, 2007)…The Red Wings have not scored on the power play in six games (0-for-11)…Nyquist, who had an assist on Larkin’s goal, has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past five games…Kuznetsov has one goal and seven assists in a six-game point streak…Connolly has two goals and four assists in a five-game point streak…Backstrom has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in the past seven games.

UP NEXT

Red Wings: Host the Ottawa Senators on Friday. 

Capitals: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.