Alex Ovechkin made his 39th goal of the season a big one as it was the game-winner in overtime on the power play to give the Washington Capitals a 6-5 win against the Detroit Red Wings.
The Capitals were on the power play after Detroit defenseman Brendan Smith was called for tripping off the face off. With the 4-on-3 advantage in OT, Ovechkin fired a laser of a shot past Jimmy Howard to help the Capitals get within a point of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Joel Ward had two goals for Washington. Detroit wasted a hat trick from Gustav Nyquist in the loss.
While the loss stings for the Red Wings, they’ve drawn even with Philadelphia for the final Wild Card spot in the East with the point earned for getting to overtime.
Michal Neuvirth stopped 25 shots; Howard made 22 saves.
Here is Ovechkin’s game-winner:
A few thoughts to take with you into the comments:
— Ward has now scored in three straight games and has 17 goals on the season. That’s good for second on the Caps behind Ovechkin and his 39. That’s a slight gap.
— Remember when Nyquist didn’t make the Red Wings roster out of camp because they re-signed Dan Cleary and didn’t have salary cap room for him? He’s got 13 goals in 30 games now.
— This wasn’t quite the goalie love-fest their matchup on Friday night was in Detroit, but the goalies did what they had to to hang around in it. That might be really faint praise.
Here are the highlights from what was a wild game:
The comments are open, we’re sure you’ve got thoughts about the penalty in overtime that led to the game-winner.
Former NHL defenseman Mike Commodore may have been coached by Mike Babcock, but that doesn’t mean he’s a fan of Mike Babcock.
Commodore played in just 17 games for the Detroit Red Wings during the 2011-12 season and that was enough for him to muster up some pretty harsh feelings toward his old coach.
As Babcock’s new team, the Toronto Maple Leafs, were being embarrassed in Detroit on Friday, Commodore took to Twitter to show fans just how much he was enjoying his former coach’s struggles.
Things got especially interesting after Red Wings rookie Dylan Larkin scored just 20 seconds into the second period to give Detroit a 3-0 lead.
“3-0 nothin Babs you posing arrogant piece of (bleep),” said Commodore via his Twitter page. “Welcome back to the rink where everyone that met you hates you.”
Commodore wasn’t done there:
And there was much, much more.
To get a look at all of Commodore’s Babcock-bashing tweets, click here.
Late in the third period of Friday’s game against the New York Rangers, things were looking good for Columbus.
Brandon Saad, who the team acquired from Chicago this off-season, scored his first goal of the season to give his team a 2-1 lead with under four minutes remaining in the contest.
Unfortunately for the Jackets, that’s as good as it would get.
The Rangers responded with three unanswered goals from Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello to spoil Columbus’ home opener.
“When something like that happens at the end, I think we’re gonna be a better team because of it,” defenseman Ryan Murray told reporters after the game. “It’s a harsh lesson, but it’s a good one.
Luckily for Columbus, they won’t have to wait very long to try and get their revenge.
The Blue Jackets and Rangers will finish off their home-and-home series at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night, which might not be such a bad thing for Columbus.
“It’s good that we get another chance tomorrow,” Saad said after Friday’s game. “We were high on emotions (after the go-ahead goal) and they scored and it took the wind out of our sails, but we have to keep playing. We have to learn to keep doing our thing, regardless of the score.”