F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 11/15/13 at 11:47 PM ET
The Capitals completed yet another third-period comeback en route to a 4-3 shootout victory over the Detroit Red Wings. The Capitals entered the third period trailing 3-1, but goals from Ovechkin and Latta were enough to force overtime and, eventually, a shootout. The win keeps Washington within a point of Pittsburgh, who beat Nashville earlier in the night. On to the reCap.
Washington Goals: Laich 2 (Oleksy); Ovechkin 15 (Johansson, Backstrom); Latta 1 (Carlson, Alzner)
Braden Holtby: WIN 34 Saves; 3 Goals Allowed
Shoot-out: Grabovski - Saved; Ovechkin - Saved; Backstrom - Score
Detroit Goals: Franzen 3 PP (Kindl, Dekeyser); Franzen 4 (Tatar, Helm); Dekeyser 2 PP (Franzen, Kindl)
Jimmy Howard: SO LOSS 30 Saves; 3 Goals Allowed
Shoot-out: Datsyuk - Saved; Franzen - Saved; Bertuzzi - Saved
Yet again, the Caps got a power play in overtime and failed to get the win. This time it was not for an inability to produce as much as it was Backstrom taking a dumb tripping penalty. It did give us some fun 3-on-3 hockey to watch, but also gave me some near heart attacks. Backstrom would make amends by scoring the lone goal in the skills competition.
Michael Latta became the third Cap this year to score his first career goal. You know, I make a lot of fuss about the amount of first career goals the Caps have given up, but getting three in 19 games is pretty good too. And it came at a great time in the game, tying up the game. What made the matter a little weird was he was taking a rare shift with the third line for Grabovski, who would return to his normal duties on the next shift.
With Mike Green sitting out tonight's game due to a lower-body injury, Tyson Strachan became the 10th defenseman used by the Capitals this season. That ties the Caps with Edmonton, Calgary, and Winnipeg for most used this year. Strachan played well enough alongside Schmidt in over 20 minute of icetime. He probably is going back as soon as Green is healthy, but it's nice to see the depth. With Green sitting out, it also meant that Karl Alzner (25) was the oldest defenseman on the blueline tonight.
John Carlson's play continues to get better. He has points in five of his last seven games and continues to shut down opposing players. He also skated two shifts in the overtime period for a combined 4:19 of ice time. He took the ice with 3:49 left in OT and didn't leave the ice until the clock struck 0. That is absolutely ridiculous. All together, he skated over 32 minutes.
For only the second time this season, the Caps gave up multiple power play goals. The goals came from two different breakdowns, but both that should have been avoided.
- The first was a brilliant shot by Franzen, but he was helped by Tatar being given the permission to screen Holtby all he wanted. This became a trend on every power play. You might not be able to do what you used to, but the Caps have to do more to stop guys screening Holtby so easily
- The second was simply the Caps not adapting. The Red Wings were clearly running an umbrella power play. You cannot allow the two outside high guys to pass across the ice to each other. The Caps failed to close the lane and Franzen was able to hit Dekeyser for an open-net one timer.
Johan Franzen had a chance for the rare cap trick (two goals + shoot-out), but Holtby had a great poke check. Holtby continues to dominate the skills competition.
We saw something we don't usually see from Adam Oates tonight: in-game line changes. Erat had spent the last few weeks skating alongside Ovechkin and Backstrom. He started there tonight, but was sent down to the second line for Marcus Johansson in the third period. On Johansson's first shift with the the top line, he had a great feed to Ovechkin to bring the game within one. Oates might know a thing or two.
As is the case every night, Ovechkin spent most of the night being covered by one defenseman. Tonight, it was the hard-hitting Nicklas Kronwall. I'm going to give the win to Ovechkin on this night. Kronwall was twice sent to the box for penalties committed against Ovechkin and Kronwall failed to cut off the pass from Johansson on Ovechkin's goal. I was slightly surprised that we only saw one big collision between these two tonight.
Not necessarily hockey-related, but does the Joe not have a rule for when the puck is in play? For a good portion of the first period, there were repeated times when you couldn't watch the play due to people still getting to their seats. Maybe it was just the camera angle, but it was a bit annoying.
The Caps will look to stretch it to a 3-game winning streak when St. Louis come to DC on Sunday for an early 6:00 puck drop.
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About F Street Faithful
Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate. This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals. The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.
In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at York College of Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland.
You can follow me on twitter @FStreetTate but I must warn that I do tweet about more than hockey. You can also e-mail me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.