Reeling Red Wings Drop 5th Straight to Caps 4-2
Alex Ovechkin scored two third period goals to propel the Washington Capitals past the suddenly pedestrian Detroit Red Wings 4-2.
They finish 2-5 on the 7 game road trip which concluded in the nation’s capital Saturday. They also lost at home Thursday night, 4-2, to Dallas.
Ville Leino scored his first of the season to give the Wings the lead with less than two minutes left in the first period but were unable to hold it as Viktor Kozlov tied it with less than a minute left.
Mike Green gave Washington the lead late in the second but Detroit responded as Johan Franzen scored his 22nd of the season on the power play.
The third period was dominated by Washington who broke the tie thanks to their star Alex Ovechkin who scored on even strength and then added a power play goal less than two minutes later to make it 4-2.
The Capitals controlled the third period despite four penalties. Detroit was unable to convert on any of the four power plays including a 5-3 advantage.
Detroit slightly outshot the Capitals 29-27 but it didn’t matter. Ty Conklin lost his third straight after winning five in a row to remain undefeated in the month of January. He’s allowed 14 goals in his last three starts.
After starting the month in the midst of a six game winning streak and beginning to look like the premier team in the league once again, the Wings closed out the month with five straight losses, allowing 23 goals. The Wings have been lousy defensively, especially on the power play kill which has now sunk to just 78%.
> Detroit fans can find a great selection of Red Wings merchandise online through Pro Hockey Fans and check out our 2008-2009 NHL preview!
Detroit ’s recent problems stemmed from a 5-4 overtime loss in Dallas back on January 12. That game was a particularly tough loss because the Wings had the lead almost until the end and allowed Dallas to get 49 shots on goal and storm back in the second and third period after leading 2-0.
Usually unbeatable when they get a lead, the Wings haven’t been able to protect it like they used to. They’ve had the lead in three of the last five games but lost each time thanks to lousy power play killing and lackluster intensity.
The only good news among this recent slump was the fact that center Henrik Zetterberg will remain a Red Wing for perhaps the remainder of his career, signing a 12 year deal worth $73 million. Although he could have likely gotten more money elsewhere as a free agent, Zetterberg showed his commitment to the organization which has been the most successful in recent years and among the few who continue to contend for the Stanley Cup year in and year out.
Zetterberg did not play for the second straight game due to back spasms and Detroit was also without Tomas Holmstrom who was scratched due to a groin injury.
ProHockey-fans.com Detroit Red Wings Correspondent