Capital City Takeover: Detroit Red Wings 4, Washinton Capitals 2


Oct 29, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith (2) checks Washington Capitals left wing Jason Chimera (25) in the first period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Borrowing the term from our friends over at Winging it in Motown (I’m sure it’s been said before, but I’ve somehow never heard it), the CRAPitals fell to the Red Wings tonight in a game with playoff-like intensity.  There was a lot of good and bad that came from this game, but overall the Wings exchanged another 3rd-period comeback for a +1 in the win column.

First of all, I want to forget about what happened in the first period, because, in the end, it didn’t really matter. I’ve been on this earth for 17 years, and of all the bad calls I’ve seen against my dear Red Wings, I can’t remember one as embarrassing and horrific as what we saw tonight. It may be tunnel vision, or it may have been just a straight-up brutal call. Early in the 1st, Braden Holtby went behind the net to send the puck out and around the side boards. Luke Glendening skated gingerly around Holtby, with zero contact (in fact, LGD was several feet away from Holtby). The Washington netminder skated to the front of the net, and simply slipped in the crease under his own power. Drew Miller scored, and not only was the goal waived off, but Glendening received a goaltender interference penalty.  It would really help to have a coach’s challenge on waived-off goals, especially since Detroit has already experienced this this season, with Datsyuk’s amazing negated goal against Montreal. Or, the refs could make the right call. I understand how you could call that from any angle of the ice. If you find footage of the call, have bleach beside you to rinse your eyes after experiencing the officiating equivalent of fecal matter.

DET Goal – 8:56 2nd – Nyquist, asst: Abdelkader, Quincey

After a strong forecheck by Detroit, Washington’s defense fumbled the puck at the blue line. Abdelkader was left to pick up the scraps, and sent the puck to Nyquist all alone in front of the net. Goose displayed a little backhand-forehand action and deflected the puck off of Holtby’s right pad, but the Swede was able to bat the puck out of the air into the back of the net.

WSH Power Play Goal – 13:19 2nd – Kuznetsov, asst: Ward, Holtby

It was only a matter of time before Detroit’s penalty kill made a few mistakes. Detroit dumped the puck on the PK and exited the ice for a line change. Holtby took advantage of the long change and sailed the puck to Ward at the blue line outside the sin bin. Kuznetsov was the late man in on the far side, outskated DeKeyser, and received the puck from Ward in front of the net to send it over Howard’s blocker side.

WSH Goal – 19:02 2nd – Brouwer, asst: Carlson, Buravosky

Washington received a rebound after the zone entry and set up to begin cycling the puck in Detroit’s zone. Carlson, with the puck at the point, saw Buravosky skating in undetected and sent the puck to the far slot for a one-timer ripped past Howard. Darren Helm had the goal-scorer right behind him, and he had no idea.

DET Goal – 4:04 3rd – Abdelkader – asst: None

Detroit’s overload generated a few quality chances on net, and Brooks Orpik recovered the puck for Washington after a rebound. Bringing it behind his own net, Datsyuk stripped the puck and tapped it to the front of the net, only to be taken by Buravosky, who then lost the puck to former Sparty Abdelkdaer (thank you NBC, for reminding me 300 times) who slingshot the puck into the net.

Oct 29, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) celebrates with Detroit Red Wings goalie Jimmy Howard (35) after their game against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. The Red Wings won 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

DET Goal – 10-34 3rd – asst: Datsyuk, Zetterberg

A neutral zone turnover by Washington generated possession by Zetterberg, who sent the puck to a rushing Datsyuk. The Magic Man split FOUR Washington players in the offensive zone, and delivered a drop pass to Abdelkader, who wound up for a slapshot that ripped through Holtby’s five hole. Holtby better check his jockstrap for a skid mark- from crapping himself at the sight of that play, or the puck disintegrating the fabric on its way through.

DET Power Play Goal – Datsyuk, asst: Zetterberg, Smith

Trying to kill off the final seconds of the game on the power play, Datsyuk held the puck down low in the offensive zone for a substantial amount of time. It’s refreshing to see a penalty killing unit absolutely terrified of Pavel Datysuk, and hesitant to challenge him. After a few failed shots, Datsyuk recovered the puck once again, zeroed in on the top-right shelf, and ripped a shot right where he wanted it to seal the deal for Detroit.

FINAL: Detroit 4, Washington 2

3 Positives to Take From the Game

-Mike Babcock placing Justin Abdelkader on the first line has struck pain in the hearts of Detroit fans for a long time, but #8 has definitely shown he deserves to be there so far this season. Last year, it took Abby 39 games to score 4 goals. This year, he has 4 goals in his first 9 games. Wonderful to see Abby’s scoring ability heightened so far.

-Detroit is showing early on that they refuse to give up. Tonight’s 3rd-period resurgence was fueled by power play changes and skating improvements. Detroit came back from a 3-1 deficit against Pittsburgh last week, and came back again tonight with 3 unanswered goals to win the game. Last year, Detroit’s weakness was the 3rd period collapse, but this season, that’s what they’re causing in their opponents.

-Pavel Datsyuk is still Pavel Datsyuk, and Henrik Zetterberg is still Henrik Zetterberg. The aging Eurotwins are proving that they can continuously school anyone in the league, and they found their groove tonight on a line with Abdelkader.

My 3 Stars of the Game:

3: Pavel Datsyuk– The Magic Man was a key part of tonight’s offensive surge, and he’s coming off hot from that shoulder injury

2: Jimmy Howard– Howie had a few insane saves against Washington’s right-handed shooters tonight, especially Alexander Ovechkin, and was solid overall.

1: Justin Abdelkader– 2 goals and an assist, and the game-winner. Abeldkader was great in every fashion tonight.

Get ready for the Halloween game versus the defending champ Los Angeles Kings!