Despite falling behind 3-1, the Washington Capitals topped the Red Wings on Friday in a way that will likely leave Detroit fans queasy: a 4-3 shootout win.
Leaving points on the table
This gives the Red Wings one of the more frustrating five-game losing streaks one can imagine.
They’ve lost two in a row via shootouts and four consecutive games that have gone beyond regulation. It’s hard not to wonder why head coach Mike Babcock isn’t turning to Jonas Gustavsson here and there – Howard’s been in net for the entire losing streak – even if it’s unfair to blame Howard alone.
This current streak isn’t the only bad sign for the Red Wings. They’re squandering points in Hockeytown, as they’re now 0-1-6 in their last seven home games.
Two very different teams after regulation
Detroit received much-needed secondary scoring (Johan Franzen had two goals and one assist), but it wasn’t enough, as Alex Ovechkin helped Washington overcome that third period 3-1 deficit. Ovechkin notched his 15th tally of the season while Michael Latta tied it up with his first career goal.
While the Red Wings leave points on the table, the Capitals have been outstanding at getting the extra one. They’ve won all six of their seven shootouts this season and also notched an OT win against Columbus on Tuesday.
The good times might keep coming for Washington, too. They’ve won six of their last eight overall and will play seven of their next nine games at home.
The Boston Bruins keep flipping the script.
In Wednesday’s case, it swerved to a “Cinderella” story, as little-known forward Frank Vatrano scored two of Boston’s three goals – including the overtime clincher – as the B’s beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-2 (OT).
Here’s his first goal of the night:
While this is his overtime game-winner:
It wasn’t a perfect night for the 21-year-old, yet it may have been a convincing one.
The Bruins continue to begin a month on a sour note before ending up with impressive sprees.
October: 0-3-0 start, finished month with four straight wins and victories in six of seven contests.
November: 0-3-0 start, losses in four of five; currently on a four-game winning strek with victories in five of six.
Boston faces a challenge in closing this month out against the Rangers on Friday, and it’s possible that this trend may continue, as they begin December with a three-game road trip through Western Canada.
More than anything else, the safest bet with the Bruins is for ups and downs.
Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.
Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:
… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.
(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)
Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.
You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.
Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.
Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.
You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.
It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.
Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.
Update: The fight may have inspired the Islanders more than the Flyers, as they bested Philly 3-1 on Wednesday.
Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.
Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:
Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.
If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.
Check out this incredible shot of that moment:
Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.