Detroit Red Wings lose in OT; winless streak reaches six games

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Red Wings landed in Washington hoping to end a dreadful five-game winless skid but were unable to accomplish that with a 4-3 loss to the Capitals. Washington captain Alex Ovechkin entered the night with 800 career goals, one shy of tying Red Wings legend Gordie Howe for second all-time, and he’d remain there.

Before the game started, the Detroit Red Wings made some minor news. General manager (GM) Steve Yzerman pulled the trigger on a minor league deal. Detroit sent Givani Smith to Florida for veteran defenseman Michael Del Zotto and immediately flipped Del Zotto to the Ducks for center Danny O’Regan. O’Regan, 28, projects as a depth center to help strengthen the Grand Rapids Griffins lineup down the middle. With the San Diego Gulls, O’Regan totaled three goals and 15 assists for 18 points over 27 games played in 2022-23.

The Detroit Red Wings also recently placed forward Austin Czarnik on waivers, after clearing Czarnik was able to return to Detroit’s lineup for tonight’s game in Washington.

Head coach Derek Lalonde shook up the lineup following Detroit’s ugly loss Saturday to the Ottawa Senators. It almost seems impossible, but the Detroit Red Wings allowed three power-play goals, plus two short-handed tallies on Saturday afternoon at home against Ottawa. Nearly the entire duration of Sunday’s team practice was dedicated to special teams.

The Detroit Red Wings were unable to rebound in Washington as their winless skid reaches six games.

That extra focus seemed to pay off early in Washington. Detroit jumped out to a 1-0 lead thanks to a nifty back-hander by David Perron. Lalonde’s top line Monday evening consisted of Perron, Dylan Larkin, and Michael Rasmussen. This was a change from Saturday; Rasmussen replaced Andrew Copp on this unit. With Larkin still recovering from taking a puck to his hand last week, the Red Wings are trying to limit his faceoff attempts, meaning the top line, for the time being, will include two centers.

On the game’s first goal, Rasmussen pressured the puck on the forecheck down behind the Capitals’ net, forcing a turnover. Rasmussen then tapped the puck to Larkin, who’d eventually find Perron. Perron lifted a nice backhand over the right shoulder of Washington goaltender Charlie Lindgren.

Oskar Sundqvist netted Detroit’s second goal of the game on the power play. Jonatan Berggren and Joe Veleno assisted on the goal.

The Detroit Red Wings took a 2-0 lead into the second period, but Nic Dowd and the Capitals would own the second period. Dowd scored a pair of goals a mere 11 seconds apart with just over four minutes left in the second period to tie the game.

Detroit struggled to garner much offense in the second frame, registering just seven shots on goal in the period and 13 total through two. The Red Wings were clearly trying to sit back and protect a two-goal lead, but it’s a dangerous strategy when facing a team like Washington that can score in bunches.

The Red Wings started the third period well after surviving plenty of Washington pressure. Andrew Copp and Lucas Raymond found themselves on a two-on-one. Copp feathered a pass across to Raymond, who easily beat a sprawling Lindgren. Unfortunately, Washington quickly tied the game at three just 1:10 later on an Erik Gustafsson goal. The veteran defender vacated his point spot, pinching in, and was rewarded. Gustafsson is coming off a hat trick in Washington’s last game; it’s the first four goals of the season for the 30-year-old defenseman.

Overtime would be needed to decide Monday night’s game in D.C.

Following three periods, Detroit was outshot to the tune of 39-18. Like most nights, goaltender Ville Husso remained the Red Wings’ top player. With less than a minute left in overtime, Dmitry Orlov blasted a shot by Husso from the top of the circle.

The Red Wings played better Monday than they have of late, but as the game wore on, Washington carried the play, and it eventually paid off. Detroit was outshot 42-19 and struggled to find much sustained offensive pressure or zone time. The Red Wings received a point for their effort, finished the night 1-3 on the power play, and produced a perfect 3-3 penalty kill.

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During this six-game skid, the Detroit Red Wings have been outscored 23-10. Tampa Bay is next on the docket for the Red Wings at home this coming Wednesday.