WASHINGTON (AP) — Before the first period was over, Washington lost three forwards.
It didn’t stop the Capitals, who managed a 1-0 win over the Detroit Red Wings on Friday night thanks to Jay Beagle’s goal with 5:11 remaining in the third period.
Washington coach Barry Trotz noted that besides the injuries to Andre Burakovsky, Lars Ellis and T.J. Oshie, a couple of players had equipment problems.
"I was like, `OK, we’re down to like five or six guys,’" Trotz said. "I thought it was a real gutsy effort. We got a lot of commitment in a lot of areas. They tried to grind us down pretty good with their numbers. I thought we were resilient. When it was time to be committed, we were fully in."
Washington was coming off a seven-goal outburst against Pittsburgh on Wednesday after scoring just five goals in its previous four games.
The Capitals had played the season’s early weeks without major injuries, something that Trotz wryly noted.
"I got a flu shot today with one of our doctors. I said, `knock on wood, we haven’t had any injuries,’ and we were talking about that, and how fortunate that was, and I should have just kept my mouth shut," Trotz said.
Braden Holtby had 25 saves for his first shutout this season and the 24th of his career.
"On any given night we know he’s going to show up. We know he’s going to be one of the best players on the ice if not the best," Capitals forward Tom Wilson said. "He’s always there for us to bail us out, and it’s nice to get him the shutout."
Beagle tapped in a rebound of Dmitry Orlov’s shot, which was stopped by Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. It was Beagle’s fourth this season.
"I just kind of spun around and saw a wide open net so I just tried to get it as I was falling," Beagle said. "I don’t think I’ve even been a part of a game where three guys go down kind of all within the first 10 minutes of the game."
Howard finished with 27 saves for the Red Wings, who have lost three straight for the first time this season.
"Somehow, the puck had eyes, got through, went off my left skate, went right back out in front," Howard said.
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill was unhappy with his team’s power play. The Red Wings failed to score on four opportunities.
"There’s no question we should have scored on one of those power play looks. That ended up being the difference in the game," Blashill said. "When you’re not scoring, you’ve got to find a way to be ferocious, get to the net, score dirty goals, score the ugly, greasy goals."
NOTES: Detroit F Tomas Jurco (back), who has yet to play this season because of back surgery, will have an entire week of practice next week before he’s sent to Grand Rapids of the AHL for conditioning. … The Red Wings played their first game without F Darren Helm, who suffered a shoulder injury in Tuesday’s loss to Tampa Bay. Helm is expected to miss at least six weeks. Detroit F Thomas Vanek (hip) is expected back on Sunday. . Trotz said he thought the Capitals would bring up another player from AHL Hershey as a precaution for Sunday’s game.