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Capitals Takeaways

Takeaways: Dowd, Capitals Rally From Sluggish Start To Top Wings

The Washington Capitals found their footing and recovered from a lackluster start for a big win over the Detroit Red Wings. Here are the takeaways.



WASHINGTON — Following an impressive stretch of hockey that matches the team's winning standards, the Washington Capitals looked like a different team to open Monday's tilt with the Detroit Red Wings.

However, another unlikely hero would step up, as Nic Dowd put on a show to lead the rally, which Dmitry Orlov finished in overtime for a 4-3 win.

Here are the takeaways from the victory:

Washington Capitals Overcome Sluggish Start, Orlov Wins It

Washington relies on T.J. Oshie to bring energy and an extra boost to the lineup night in and night out. As he drew out due to injury, the Capitals faltered.

They came out of the gate with struggles, as they experienced quite a few turnovers and mishandlings in the opening frame and went down 2-0 after poor coverage in front led to goals for David Perron then Oskar Sundqvist on the power play.

While there were looks and opportunities, Washington couldn't finish its chances, and the team also tried to make some plays that just weren't there.

Luckily, it wouldn't last, as the Capitals were able to rally from two deficits and ultimately, earned the OT win. 

Nic Dowd Puts On Show To Pull Washington Capitals Back In

In one shift, Nic Dowd changed the direction of the game — and it only took 11 seconds.

Dowd picked up a great pass from Alex Ovechkin and then toe-dragged before sniping a quick shot past Ville Husso at 15:35 of the second to make it a 2-1 game.

Seconds later, off the face-off, Dowd drove to the net and deflected a pass past Husso to even the score.

He has the two fastest goals by a single Capitals player this season and the second-fastest back-to-back goals by a player in franchise history (Stephen Leach, 10 seconds on 11/23/90 vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins).

Dowd also assisted on the OT winner.

Erik Gustafsson Stays Hot

With the Capitals going down 3-2 early in the third, Erik Gustafsson, who had a hat trick on Saturday, came in clutch once again. Already with an assist on Monday, Gustafsson got to the front and rifled a great pass across past Husso to make it a new hockey game once again.

He has five points in his last two games, and he is up to four goals and 11 assists so far this year.

Lines Change With Ovechkin Still On Hunt, Kuznetsov Leaves Momentarily

With Ovechkin still in pursuit of 801 and 802, he got some extended looks with different combinations.

The 37-year-old started the night with Dylan Strome and Conor Sheary. He then played with Evgeny Kuznetsov and Sonny Milano, as well as with Kuznetsov and Strome with Marcus Johansson.

Kuznetsov, however, would leave with an injury in the third period. He was trying to keep the puck in at the blue line and took a huge hit from Moritz Seider.

He stayed down on the ice and got help from the trainer before getting up slowly, and he went to the bench doubled over in visible pain. He stayed there shortly before heading to the dressing room. He returned for OT.

Additional Washington Capitals Ice Chips

– Nicolas Aube-Kubel picked up two assists and has four helpers in his last four games.

– Nick Jensen picked up an assist and now has 13 helpers this season, which leads all Capitals defensemen.

– Lars Eller picked up a helper and has points in three of his last five games. Eller also tied Nikolaj Ehlers for the second-most points among Danish players in NHL history.