Takeaways: Capitals Lose Mantha, Drop Fifth Straight Game vs. Wings
The Washington Capitals made quite a push in the third, but it came too late in a 3-1 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. Here are all of the takeaways live from D.C.
WASHINGTON — It was the same story for the Washington Capitals against the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, who made quite the push in the third period while trailing 2-1 and failing to generate much through the first 40. However, it wasn't enough as the rally proved too little, too late in a disappointing loss on home ice.
Tom Wilson scored the lone goal for Washington, who also lost Anthony Mantha to injury, as the Capitals fell 3-1 in a key matchup against the Red Wings, who are now tied with D.C. in points.
Here are all the takeaways from the defeat, which marks the team's fifth straight loss.
Washington Capitals Press Hard, But Mistakes Prove Costly
The Capitals saw the same narrative play over again on Tuesday, as Robert Hagg opened the scoring on a shot that made its way through traffic in front and past Darcy Kuemper, who also collided with his d-man in front. The team has struggled with those goals against of late, and it plagued them once again against Detroit.
Then, with Washington a five-minute power play following Dylan Larkin's game misconduct for a cross-check to T.J. Oshie's face, a turnover led to Pius Suter going on a 2-on-1 break the other way. He elected to shoot and made it 2-0 with a quick shot that made it past Kuemper.
In the third, Suter struck again, this time capitalizing on an Evgeny Kunzetsov turnover in the defensive zone.
By the end of the second, the Capitals had just 12 shots on goal after having six apiece in the first and second, though Detroit blocked a lot of opportunities. The third period told a different story, as they woke up and generated plenty of pressure and chances. In the first four and a half minutes of the third, Washington already had seven shots. The team ended up outshooting the Red Wings 15-4 in the final frame, but it wasn't enough, as Ville Husso stood tall.
It wasn't a bad effort overall, but a couple mistakes and a lack of finishing led to the loss.
Washington Capitals Lose Anthony Mantha To Injury
The Capitals have been dealing with injuries for the last two seasons, and they saw another player go down as Mantha left Tuesday's tilt with an upper-body injury.
It's unclear what exactly happened to the 6-5, 234-pound forward, but he did take a hard hit from Moritz Seider that sent him to the ice at 2:02 of the first period. He played three shifts in the second period before exiting around the 12-minute mark. He skated 8:18 total before leaving the game.
This is possibly what happened to Anthony Mantha. At 2:02 of the first, took a hard hit from Moritz Seider.
He played a bit in the second for the Capitals before leaving the game. Has an upper-body injury and will not return. pic.twitter.com/5AIMcW83vh
— Sammi Silber (@sammisilber) February 22, 2023
Washington is already missing Alex Ovechkin up front. Mantha has nine goals and 15 assists through 53 games and is a minus-7.
Tom Wilson Stays Hot
One positive for the Capitals is that Wilson has picked up right where he left off, as he scored his second goal in as many games since returning from injury. His tally came on a deflection off an Erik Gustafsson point shot on the power play.
Wilson now has four goals and an assist in 10 games this season. He sat out the first half of the year as he recovered from offseason ACL surgery and just recently returned from another lower-body ailment he suffered on Jan. 24 after blocking a slapshot from close range.
Top Shelf Takes
– Jakub Vrana was all smiles and emotional as the team welcomed him back with a special tribute video. He played in his first NHL game in months following time in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program, and the game also marked his first against his old team back at Capital One Arena.
Standing ovation and an emotional moment for Jakub Vrana in his homecoming and first NHL game since time in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program. pic.twitter.com/8a92drP3xh
— Sammi Silber (@sammisilber) February 22, 2023
– Oshie was okay after taking a cross-check to the face, but don't be surprised if Larkin gets a suspension. Intentional or not, dangerous play.
– Dylan McIlrath led Washington with five hits. Martin Fehervary and Tom Wilson each came in second with four apiece.
– Gustafsson now has five points in his last five games.
– Nicklas Backstrom got an assist and has points in two of his last three games and three of the last six overall.
– Nic Dowd made his return to the lineup and skated in his first game since Jan. 16 (12 games). He won four of nine draws while skating 13:28 minutes.