Alex Ovechkin stole a point for the Washington Capitals with a game-tying goal with seven seconds left in the third period, but Jimmy Howard and the Detroit Red Wings eked out a 5-4 shootout win on Friday.
Both goalies figured into the proceedings. Howard made some big third-period saves before Ovechkin’s timely tally while Michal Neuvirth kept the Caps in the game, making 42 out of 45 saves and stopping six of seven shootout attempts. Unfortunately for him, Howard was perfect in the “skills competition” to win in his return to action.
Neuvirth had quite the duel with Gustav Nyquist, making this gorgeous glove save against him but then being beaten for a third-period goal.
Here’s the big save:
Then Nyquist gets some revenge:
Assuming this doesn’t get changed to a Joel Ward tip-in, Ovechkin collected his 39th of the season when his team needed it the most:
Both teams would likely prefer to find themselves in these situations less often; the Red Wings are now 4-8 in shootouts while the Capitals fell to 8-7 in that format.
Overall, there are pros and cons for both squads following an exciting game.
Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.
Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.
While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.
Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.
It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.
“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”
Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.
Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.
Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.
“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”