With Alex Ovechkin again held scoreless, Washington’s other Russian standout made the big play to win the game.
Evgeny Kuznetsov scored 45 seconds into overtime to lift the Capitals to a 2-1 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night. Kuznetsov won it with his sixth goal of the season, skating in on Petr Mrazek from the right wing and beating the goalie to the far post.
"Just go hard to the net," Kuznetsov said. "That’s all I’m trying to do, go to the net."
The 23-year-old Kuznetsov leads the Capitals with 18 points, in part because Ovechkin has not had any in the last four games. Ovechkin remains tied with Sergei Fedorov for the NHL’s career lead in goals by a Russian player — he’s been stuck at 483.
Justin Williams scored for the Caps on a first-period power play after Dylan Larkin had opened the scoring for Detroit.
Braden Holtby had 25 saves for Washington, including two stops on clean breakaways during regulation.
The Capitals are 2-1 in games decided in overtime this season, with both victories in the 3-on-3 format coming on goals by Kuznetsov. On Wednesday, he worked his way past Henrik Zetterberg, then flipped the puck past Mrazek while bearing down on the crease.
"Kuzy in overtime has been outstanding," coach Barry Trotz said. "You give him some time and space and he’s pretty good. He has that deceptive skating style. It doesn’t look like he’s moving his feet but he’s going faster all the time."
Washington’s lone defeat in overtime was against Calgary on Friday night. The Caps had been off since then, and the win over Detroit means they still haven’t lost consecutive games all season.
The goal by Williams came not long after Holtby had stopped Darren Helm’s short-handed breakaway. Holtby came up big in the second as well, stopping a breakaway by Teemu Pulkkinen and then sweeping Helm’s rebound attempt late in the period away from the goal line with his stick.
The game was stopped briefly with 6:25 remaining in the third when John Carlson’s shot hit Mrazek’s mask. The Detroit goalie was able to play on, and seconds later Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt hit the crossbar with a shot from the point.
The Caps outshot Detroit 27-26, holding an opponent at 30 shots or fewer for the 15th straight game. It was the first time in seven games the Capitals did not reach 30 shots themselves.
Notes:Detroit was without RW Johan Franzen (concussion), C Brad Richards (back), D Kyle Quincey (ankle) and F Landon Ferraro (knee). … The Capitals played without D Brooks Orpik (lower body).