DETROIT -- It was a tough November for the Red Wings.
In a month where they believed they could make a move in the standings, the Wings closed out November with an overall mark of 3-11-2 after dropping a 5-2 decision to the Washington Capitals Saturday night at Little Caesars Arena.
With the loss, the Wings' winless streak stretched to nine game (0-7-2), yet there were some encouraging signs Detroit could be working itself out of the doldrums.
Until Alex Ovechkin sealed the Red Wings' fate with two empty-net goals with under two minutes left in the game, the Wings played smart, fast and with urgency, matching the Caps stride for stride all game long.
Robby Fabbri (power play) and Luke Glendening scored for the Red Wings, who have now gone winless in their last five games against the Capitals.
Ovechkin (hat trick, two empty-net goals), T.J. Oshie (power play) and former Plymouth Whaler Tom Wilson were the Washington goal scorers.
Up next for Detroit (7-19-3) is a home date with the New York Islanders (17-5-2) on Monday night.
Washington (19-4-5) will next face the San Jose Sharks Tuesday night in California, which will begin a three-game western swing for the Caps.
1. Robby Fabbri: Of all the moves that general manager Steve Yzerman has made this season, the one that has worked out the best is definitely acquiring Fabbri in a trade with the St. Louis Blues for Jacob de la Rose. In the first period, Fabbri forced Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov to trip him. On the ensuing power play, it was only right that it was Fabbri who got the goal as he went to the net and backhanded Dylan Larkin's pass past Samsonov. Filip Zadina got the second assist for his first point in four games with the Wings this season. It was Fabbri's second straight game with a goal. It also was Fabbri's 10th point (5-5-10) in 11 games with the Wings. His previous 10 points came in 51 games with the Blues dating back to Jan. 14, 2017, right before he suffered his first knee injury. Fabbri finished with 20 shifts for 17:36, had two shots, was 1-for-1 in face-offs and was minus-3.
Quotable: "I'm just playing my game but it doesn't do anything for this team here if we're not winning. I'm more concerned about that, more about getting the team righted here. Everyone's committed, everyone's on the same page, we just gotta go out there and do it." - Fabbri
Quotable II: "I thought our performance in Philly was pretty good, too, for large parts of the game. Our performance against Toronto was terrible. Tonight, I thought our first was good, I thought our third was good, I thought our second wasn't very good, so we got to make sure we're better for all three. But there were opportunities there. I think the chances in the end are going to be pretty even. It was a pretty even hockey game and they found a way to score one more through the course of the game than we did - obviously, they had the two empty-netters." - Wings coach Jeff Blashill
2. Jonathan Bernier : Originally scheduled to start last Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs, Bernier fell ill and Jimmy Howard had to go in net. But Howard was injured midway through the first and Bernier had to force himself to get up and play despite being sick. In calling Calvin Pickard up from the AHL's Grand Rapids Griffins, the Wings were able to start him against the Philadelphia Flyers Friday, allowing Bernier another day to recover fully. The Capitals shoot a lot, averaging 31.5 shots per game, and they fired 12 shots at Bernier in the first. Bernier stopped them all, Jakub Vrana from the right circle, Michal Kempny from the left and Travis Boyd on a wraparound. In the second period, Capitals forward T.J. Oshie scored on the power play at 2:19. It was the 100th goal scored by the Capitals this season, the first team to 100. Alex Ovechkin then scored on a wraparound with a beautiful wrister at 9:21 of the second to give Washington a 2-1 lead.
Quotable: "I feel pretty good. Obviously, it would've been nice to come out with a win, or at least a point going into overtime. But I thought it was a way better game than what we've been playing as of late. There's a positive there." - Bernier
Quotable II: "I thought Bernie was great. He made big saves. They have a great power play and he made a couple of big saves on the kill. For our kill to be good, he's got to be our best penalty killer. I thought he was great. He battled. Ultimately, we gotta start scoring more here and we gotta want to make plays and want to score on the power play and not leave it up to chance when he's pulled." - Larkin
Quotable III: "I thought Bernie was real good. He gave us the kind of goaltending you need to have to win in this league, throughout the league and for us as well. So he gave us a chance to win the game, that's all you want out of your goalie is to keep you in a spot to have a chance to win the hockey game." - Blashill
3. Luke Glendening: No, Glendening is not your prototypical first-line winger but with Anthony Mantha's injury and Fabbri's chemistry with Valtteri Filppula and Andreas Athanasiou, it is his spot for now. It also gives the Wings options on face-offs with both Glendening and Larkin. That does not mean that Glendening can't chip in on offense from time to time. At 14:32 of the third, just nine seconds after the Capitals had taken a 3-1 lead, Glendening scorer from the slot, his fourth goal of the season. Tyler Bertuzzi and Mike Green assisted. It was the 49th goal of Glendening's career. Bertuzzi's assist gave him 13 assists and moved him into a tie with Mantha for the team lead in points with 23. Green's assist was his 100th as a member of the Wings. Glendening finished with 25 shifts for 17:51, had four shots, four hits, two blocked shots, was 7-for-11 in face-offs and was plus-1.
Quotable: "That was huge. Being on for that third goal of theirs, that was tough for us. That top line went out and Glenny had a great game all game. Working hard, backchecking, breaking up plays, in on the forecheck. Happy he got rewarded with that. It really boosted the boys on the bench." - Fabbri
Quotable II: "It was a huge goal. We felt it coming before Wilson scored. That one was huge, going out next shift and scoring but we gotta follow that up and continue to follow that up for the rest of the game. We can't keep waiting until 2-3 minutes left and pull the goalie and then six on five. It's not the game we want to be playing there in the last few minutes. I did like our effort. We never quit." - Larkin
Quotable III: "I thought Glenny was really good. He's a warrior. He can play against the other team's best, he can help out a line like Larks' because he wins tons of pucks. If the game comes down to puck battles, he's as good at it as anybody. He was set up in the first period in the slot and wasn't able to convert. In that one (his goal), he did a great job. So great net presence by Larks. That's part of what we talk about making sure we have good net presence and have the opportunity to score dirty. I thought Glenny, as he has through most of the season, gave a real consistent effort and was very good." - Blashill