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game recap

Ovechkin lifts Capitals past Red Wings for fourth win in row

Has goal, assist for Washington; Holtby makes 31 saves

by Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist for the Washington Capitals in a 3-1 win against the Detroit Red Wings at Capital One Arena on Friday.

Tom Wilson had a goal and an assist, and Braden Holtby made 31 saves for Washington (12-7-3), which has won four straight. The Capitals have gotten at least a point in nine straight games against the Red Wings (7-0-2).

"Obviously the first period wasn't really what we wanted," Wilson said. "It wasn't a good start, but it's a 60-minute game and we've seen a lot of good responses from this team when something doesn't go [our] way early."

 

[WATCH: All Red Wings vs. Capitals highlights]

 

Washington's winning streak has come without forwards T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov, who are each out with an upper-body injury.

"They're key guys, but nothing we can do," Ovechkin said. "We just have to play our best. I think different guys are stepping up big time."

Video: DET@WSH: Ovechkin snaps perfect shot past Bernier

Andreas Athanasiou scored, and Jonathan Bernier made 17 saves for Detroit (10-10-2), which had won two straight.

"At the end, they converted on their chances. We didn't," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "I'm sure we'll grade chances out and my gut is I would guess we'd have a little bit of an edge, but they'd be pretty close."

Michal Kempny gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead at 6:38 of the third period when his slap shot from the top of the left circle beat a screened Bernier. It was Kempny's second goal in the past two games.

Video: DET@WSH: Kempny rips shot past screened Bernier

Ovechkin extended the lead to 3-1 at 8:34 when he beat Bernier blocker side from the right circle on a rush.

Athanasiou gave the Red Wings a 1-0 lead at 8:46 of the first period, receiving a pass from Thomas Vanek from behind the net that caught Holtby going the wrong direction.

"It was a great pass by Thomas," Athanasiou said. "You could kind of see the play developing. He's so good with puck. If you just find that open ice, he'll find you and fortunate there that it got the start going."

Video: DET@WSH: Athanasiou buries slick feed from Vanek

Wilson tied it 1-1 at 12:13 of the second period when he took a pass from Nicklas Backstrom on a rush and beat Bernier over his right shoulder from the high slot. Wilson has eight points (three goals, five assists) in six games since returning from suspension.

"I guess I'll just say making up for lost time," Wilson said.

Holtby made a pad save on Athanasiou on a breakaway at 17:28 of the second period.

 

They said it

"I thought the first 15 minutes we were the better team. It was the start we wanted. We scored, and we did little things, so we've got to keep that momentum. And I thought we did a great job coming out in the third period as well." -- Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin

 

"[Tom Wilson's] growing up as a player. I think he's realized that the game of hockey, it's not about hitting people. It's about making plays, and if you have a chance to hit, why not? He's growing up as a person and as a player, and he's getting better." -- Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin

Video: DET@WSH: Wilson picks the corner with terrific shot

 

Need to know

Red Wings defenseman Mike Green played his 800th NHL game. ... Vanek's assist was his 400th in the League. … Backstrom is one point shy of tying Peter Bondra (825) for second place in Capitals history. ... Ovechkin has scored four goals in his past four games.

 

What's Next

Red Wings: Host the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; FS-D, MSG-B, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the New York Rangers on Saturday (2 p.m. ET; NHLN, MSG, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)

Video: Capitals take down Red Wings for fourth straight win

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