|Goaltender||Record||GAA / SV%|
|Washington Capitals||Zach Fucale||6-2-4||1.73 / .933|
|Detroit Red Wings||Alex Nedeljkovic||7-5-2||2.00 / .939|
After ending a three-game losing skid, the Washington Capitals defeated the Buffalo Sabres on Monday night. Now, they’re off to Detroit to take on the Red Wings, a team that despite being in the middle of a rebuild, is coasting along quite well this season. Detroit actually defeated the Capitals in their last meeting on October 27th, by a score of 3-2. With their win on Tuesday, they sit 2nd in the Atlantic Division (7-5-2).
On Monday, the Washington Capitals took down the Buffalo Sabres, 5-3, to halt a three-game losing streak. Vitek Vanecek put an end to his own four-game losing streak, which did, unfortunately, include the game where he replaced Ilya Samsonov twice in an eventual 5-4 OTL (versus the Panthers). Axel Jonsson-Fjallby made his NHL debut, the 5th Capitals rookie to do so this season. Washington actually reacquired AJF from the Sabres after losing him when he was placed on waivers prior to the start of the season.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin put together an impressive three-point night (1G, 2A) to kill two birds with one stone. Not only did he register his 600th career assist, but he also scored his 741st career goal to officially tie Brett Hull for 4th on the all-time goals list.
Just 2:13 into the first period, Tom Wilson scored his 2nd of the season to give Washington an early 1-0 lead. It initially appeared as though Alex Ovechkin got the tip-in, but the replay of the goal showed the puck deflecting off Wilson before sneaking behind Dustin Tokarski. Ovechkin tallied the primary assist on the goal.
Both the Caps and the Sabres had opportunities with the man-advantage, but neither team was able to convert (Thompson; holding)(Hagelin; holding).
Connor McMichael made it 2-0, Capitals, at the 2:30 mark of the second period to mark his 2nd goal in two games.
But just over a minute later, Caps legend Cody Eakin cut Washington’s lead in half with his 2nd of the year, unassisted. The dreaded two-goal lead. The most dangerous in hockey. Unless you’re the Capitals in which case, no lead is safe. But lucky for the fans of the home team, Alex Ovechkin scored just seconds short of the nine-minute mark to give the Caps back their two-goal lead.
The remainder of the second period expired without another goal, but the Capitals did kill off another Sabres power play.
Three minutes and 17 seconds into the final frame, Anders Bjork scored to bring Buffalo back within one, and Capitals fans began to get anxious that their team would give up another lead for another loss. But Tom Wilson potted his 2nd of the game just over three minutes later. A slick pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov made it possible.
The Capitals would finally convert on their 3rd power play of the night as John Carlson scored to make it 5-2, Washington. At first, we thought it was Conor Sheary’s goal.
The Buffalo Sabres would put up another goal before the game was over when Colin Miller scored with just over 60 seconds left in the period. It was his first of the year. In the final moments of the game, Caps goalie Vitek Vanecek was caught underneath the body of Jeff Skinner, and it appeared as though Vanecek’s left arm was compromised. No announcements have been made regarding the goaltender, but come game-day, something may be shared from the team.
The Detroit Red Wings were last in action on Tuesday when defeated the Edmonton Oilers, 4-2. Sam Gagner played in his 900th career game, which is quite the milestone to celebrate against your former team. Alex Nedeljkovic got the start for the Red Wings. Vladislav Namestnikov, at the 14:03 mark of the first period, got his Red Wings on the board with the first goal of the game. Gagner tallied the primary assist to mark the 307th of his career and his 480th career point.
Codi Ceci was called for delay of game just short of the four-minute mark of the second period, giving Detroit their first power play of the evening. Detroit’s 22nd ranked power play has converted eight times on 46 opportunities, and they did not convert on this opportunity. But just upon expiration of the Oilers penalty, Namestnikov tallied his 2nd goal of the night (his 7th of the season) to extend Detroit’s lead to two goals. Before the second period was over, Dylan Larkin would also score to make it 3-0, a goal which would be the ultimate game-winner, as did Jesse Puljujarvi for the Oilers to spoil Ned’s shutout bid. Puljujarvi’s goal came with just 45 seconds remaining in the period.
Connor McDavid extended his point streak to 11 games when he scored just 38 seconds into the final frame, making it 3-2, to pull the Oilers within one goal of tying the game. But it was Moritz Seider who, with six seconds left in the game and Edmonton’s net empty, would score to make it 4-2 and to seal the win for Detroit. The Oilers failed to convert on either of their two power-play opportunities, and Leon Draisatil actually ended the night with a -2 (+/-) rating and was not allowed a single shot on goal in 24:38 time on ice.
The Red Wings are riding a three-game win streak, and are 4-1-2 at home, averaging 3.07 goals per game (13th), but give up the most shots on goal against (34.4) and register among the fewest shots on goal for (29.6).
Nic Dowd was placed on the Injured Reserve list for the Capitals on Wednesday. Hendrix Lapierre was reassigned to the QMJHL after playing six games with Washington. The Capitals also recalled Aliaksei Protas and Zach Fucale from the Hershey Bears, and Fucale practiced with both Vanecek and Ilya Samsonov. It was announced at noon on Thursday that Zach Fucale would get his first career NHL start. In five games played in the AHL, Fucale is allowing a GAA of 1.73 with a save percentage of .933. The Red Wings are without Troy Stecher who is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury.
Kassie’s Noteworthy Remarks
- Alex Ovechkin needs one more goal to take sole possession of 4th all time on the NHL goals list. Ovechkin leads the league with 11 goals and tallied 1 goal and two assists versus the Sabres.
- Goaltender Vitek Vanecek did NOT undergo shoulder surgery, as shared by NHL Network.
- Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider are two of Detroit’s most talented skaters. Raymond has six goals, three of which have come on the power play, and Seider leads the team in assists (9A).
The Washington Capitals and Detroit Red Wings will play on Thursday, November 11th, at 7:30pm EST, and can be seen on NBC Sports Washington and Bally Sports Detroit.