Capitals edge Red Wings 3-2 with two third-period goals
DETROIT (AP) — On another fruitless night for their power play, the Washington Capitals needed scoring from some unlikely sources.
Michal Kempny and Travis Boyd scored in the third period, and the Capitals snapped their three-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday night. Kempny’s winner came with 3:52 remaining. It was his fifth goal of the season, and Boyd scored his fourth.
“Through the first two, it was a slow and sloppy game,” Boyd said. “We came together here in between the second and the third and just said if we put together 20 good minutes here, we could walk away with the win. We were able to do that.”
Tom Wilson also scored for the Capitals, who improved to 9-0-2 in their last 11 games against Detroit. Anthony Mantha and Filip Hronek scored for the Red Wings.
The Capitals trailed 2-1 heading into the final period, but Boyd tied it off a pass from Alex Ovechkin. Goalie Jimmy Howard nearly made the save sliding from right to left, but the puck made it through.
Kempny’s winner came on a wrist shot from the blue line that sailed through traffic and past Howard. The shot appeared to take a deflection off Detroit’s Tyler Bertuzzi, who was trying to pressure Kempny.
“We felt like our forwards were really fighting hard to get to the front of the net, and we didn’t deliver enough pucks there. That was the message in between the second and third,” Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. “We were able to convert on that after.”
The Capitals won the Stanley Cup last season on the strength of a dynamic power play, but that unit is now 1 for 31 over the past 10 games after four more empty opportunities Sunday. Detroit wasn’t any better, though. The Red Wings were 0 for 3 and were unable to convert after T.J. Oshie took a penalty with 2:47 left in regulation.
Detroit is 1 for 20 on the power play in its past eight games.
“When you get a power play, everyone gets excited because you’ve got a chance to change the game,” Mantha said. “When you don’t do anything, it takes away all of your momentum.”
Washington opened the scoring when Wilson scored after a scramble in front of the net. Evgeny Kuznetsov was able to control the puck and made a slick pass to Wilson, who scored from a sharp angle.
Mantha, in his second game back from a broken hand, was impressive throughout the first, and he tied the game with an unassisted goal with 5:52 left in the period. Mantha stole the puck at the Washington blue line, skated in and beat goalie Braden Holtby with a backhander between the pads.
Hronek put the Red Wings ahead in the second when he redirected a nice pass from Dylan Larkin past Holtby.
“For us to win games against a team like that, you either have to play mistake-free hockey, score a lot of goals or win the special teams battles,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. “We didn’t do that tonight. Our kill was outstanding, but the power play isn’t good enough.”
NOTES: Wilson, who began the season on a lengthy suspension for a hit during the preseason, now has 12 goals in 22 games. His career high is 14. … Detroit was without F Michael Rasmussen. Blashill said he has a lower-body injury and will likely miss at least one more game.
Capitals: Host Philadelphia on Tuesday night.
Red Wings: Host Montreal on Tuesday night.