WASHINGTON, D.C. - The good news for the Red Wings is they found a way to hold Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin without a shot and they scored three on goaltender Braden Holtby.
The bad news is the Capitals have plenty of players who can score and they defeated the Wings, 6-3, Thursday night at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
The Capitals have won 11 straight at home and have scored five or more goals in 10 straight at home.
1. Andreas Athanasiou : Coaches always say you should try to limit opponents' time and space. The challenge with Athanasiou is he doesn't need much of either. Just seconds after missing an open net on the left side, Athanasiou got the puck back and circled around the net to the right circle and fired a wrist shot past Holtby. Less than three minutes later, with the Wings on a power play, Athanasiou found the back of the net again, this time from the left circle on a nice feed from Thomas Vanek. The power-play goal was Athanasiou's first career power-play point. The two goals give Athanasiou 13 for the season, tying him for the team lead with Vanek.
Quotable: "I was attacking down and the puck kind of got in the slot there and whenever I see Vanek with the puck I just try to get to the open ice and I know which way it's going to come." - Athanasiou on his power-play goal
2. Jonathan Ericsson : At 15:51 of the first period, Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom hit Ericsson behind the Detroit net. Ericsson was down for a minute, eventually skating off under his own power, accompanied by athletic trainer Piet Van Zant. Ericsson went straight to the dressing room. The team announced at the start of the second period that Ericsson would not return due to an upper-body injury. So the Wings were forced to play the final two periods with just five defensemen. After the game, Wings coach Jeff Blashill announced that Ericsson has a fractured wrist and could miss up to eight weeks.
Quotable: "We've had a lot of young guys come in and play well. It's another chance now. I imagine (Xavier) Ouellet's going to get another opportunity to come back in, he's been playing great for us so that's positive. Guys have got some games, got some more minutes maybe with injuries and I think that's good for us overall. But it's always tough when you go through a year like we have so far with injuries. But at the same time, you can't make that an excuse, you just got to keep moving forward here. We got a tough stretch, obviously back to Columbus and then Minnesota, teams that are playing really well. So got to clean up some mistakes and make sure that we're playing the type of game we want to play, not towards our opponent." - Justin Abdelkader
3. Henrik Zetterberg : Zetterberg may be the oldest active player on the Wings roster but he's also the most effective. Anthony Mantha found Zetterberg heading to the net and Zetterberg delivered a backhand that eluded Holtby's glove at 1:25 of the third period, tying the game at 3. Zetterberg now has 12 goals, tied with Tomas Tatar, Mantha and Dylan Larkin for second on the team. Zetterberg's 39 points lead the team.
Quotable: "it was basically the only thing I had, though. He followed me really good, so I just had to try and wait as long as possible. It's lucky. It hit his shoulder and went in." - Zetterberg
Quotable II: "The breakout started with Gus (Nyquist) chipping the puck out. That was a superb play. When Z went to the net I just took the middle a little bit to give myself a better angle. I think he got the goalie right on the shoulder, so it was a real patient play by him." - Mantha