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Takeaways: Ovechkin Makes History, But Capitals Can’t Solve Wings



Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin

With the injuries piling up and the team looking to rebound from back-to-back overtime losses, it was by no means a terrible showing for the Washington Capitals. But, despite a historic night for Alex Ovechkin and a solid 60-minute effort, the depleted Capitals couldn’t get past the Detroit Red Wings.

A late goal against from Andrew Copp and stellar night from Ville Husso sunk Washington, 3-1, as the Red Wings picked up a solid win.

Here are all the takeaways from the loss:

Alex Ovechkin Makes History, Ties Gordie Howe Against Mr. Hockey’s Red Wings

On a night when the Stanley Cup was in the building, Gordie Howe’s retired No. 9 hanging prominently above the net and Mark Howe’s son was in attendance, Ovechkin was hungry for goal No. 786, which would tie him with Mr. Hockey for the most goals with one franchise in NHL history. And in the second period, he did just that.

The 37-year-old picked up a great feed from Evgeny Kuznetsov and got the puck settled before sniping a quick shot past Ville Husso to open the scoring and secure his sixth goal of the year and record-tying tally.

Ovechkin is now on a four-game point streak and has 10 points in 12 games to open 2022-23. He is 14 goals from 800, 16 from passing Howe for second on the NHL’s all-time goals list and 109 from breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all-time goals record.

Darcy Kuemper Strong Again, Washington Capitals Still Have Strong 60

One of the issues for Washington this season has been consistency through three periods. The team got that against the Wings.

The Capitals started strong, playing a defense-first game but generating some good chances against a locked-in Ville Husso. Then, in the final 40, they piled on the shot and tilted the ice, generating several chances while limiting Detroit’s opportunities. The oly Red Wings goal came on a power-play goal, where Darcy Kuemper had no chance. Otherwise, the PK did a stellar job.

While the late goal against was off a mishap behind the net and an empty netter sunk the team, Darcy Kuemper and the team still had a decent showing. Kuemper was solid, too, and finished with 23 saves on 25 shots (.920 save percentage).

Overall, Detroit’s defense played a strong shutdown game to end the Capitals’ furious rally.

Connor McMichael Plays The Right Way

In limited ice time once again, Connor McMichael made a statement, and played exactly the right way. The 21-year-old, who hadn’t done much to stand out in two games prior to this past one, was on a roll and gave head coach Peter Laviolette what he wanted to see.

McMichael was hard on pucks and giving a full effort on each shift, and he also helped generate pressure and generate a couple of solid chances,, including a 2-on-1 break in the third and a tip in front. No. 24 also had a semi-breakaway early on and drew a penalty, leading to a power play for his club while getting his first shot of the season and a quality scoring chance. He also engaged in board battles and turned on the jets.

That kind of play in limited ice time is exactly what he should give when he’s in the lineup. That’s what will not only lead to more games but even more trust and ice time.

The 21-year-old finished the game with a season-high 8:56 minutes of ice time, picking up a shot and showign the potential the team wnats to see from him game after game.

Additional Washington Capitals Ice Chips

  • Dylan Strome was stellar in the face-off dot, winnin 14 of 19 draws (74 percent).
  • Nick Jensen continues to look solid and lead the way at both ends of the ice.
  • Martin Fehervary led all skaters with four shots and four hits.