Game 20: Red Wings-Washington Enotes

Another night at the Joe, another night of the white shirts celebrating an OT or shootout win.

This is getting old.

The Washington Capitals stormed back from a 1-3 deficit after two periods, tied the game in regulation in nifty fashion, survived an odd OT period, and won on Nicklas Backstrom’s shootout goal—the only goal in the skills competition—taking a 4-3 decision.

The Red Wings (9-5-6) are 0-1-6 in their past seven home games. They haven’t won at JLA since October 15.

Tonight looked like the night, though, when two points would finally be claimed on home ice.

Danny DeKeyser’s PP goal with less than 20 seconds left in the third period gave Detroit a 3-1 lead.

Johan Franzen scored two goals in two minutes in the first period, as the Wings finally got some scoring from secondary players. But it still wasn’t enough to claim victory.

“We just have to keep stepping on the gas pedal,” coach Mike Babcock said on FSD during the second intermission.

Alex Ovechkin had other ideas.

The Great Eight made like a magician, producing a goal like a rabbit out of a hat, simultaneously taking  a pass from behind the net and popping it over Jimmy Howard’s shoulder to cut the lead to 3-2 at 3:19. It was Ovechkin’s 15th goal of the young season.

Michael Latta scored his first goal of the season at 11:54, pouncing on a loose puck in the crease and burying it into an open net, some six feet behind Howard, who was caught way out of position. 3-3 tie.

The overtime was wacky, briefly giving us 3-on-3 hockey due to penalties. Neither team could capitalize—no pun intended—on their truncated power plays in the extra session.

In the shootout, the Red Wings tried to get cute, and two of their three shooters didn’t even get a shot off.

Backstrom, the last shooter, slipped a deft shot through Howard’s pads to win the game for Washington (11-8-1).

BOTTOM LINE: The Wings have now lost 11 straight games at home that have gone into OT/SO. It’s the longest such streak in the NHL since 1987.

THE WINGED WHEELER SAYS: These one-point gets at home will come back to haunt the Red Wings later in the season. The schedule is home heavy through the end of December, then the Wings will be on the road an awful lot starting in January.

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