The Red Wings took a 5-4 OT decision from the Washington Capitals on Sunday, but Detroit blew a 3-1 3rd period lead en route to said victory, and that was of great concern–at least to Wings fans. The Red Wings themselves worried a little less about “process” than “product,” and Tomas Tatar’s OT winner afforded the Wings that luxury:
Our friends from Washington were frustrated with their 2nd period collapse, as they told WashingtonCapitals.com’s Mike Vogel:
Second periods have been problematic for the Capitals at times this season, but it’s difficult to recall a worse 20 minutes of hockey from Washington in any of the 165 full periods the team has played this season. Detroit had 30 shot attempts to just five for the Capitals, the Wings outshot the Caps by 17-2, and Washington managed all of one shot on net in the final 19 minutes and 36 seconds of the middle frame of Sunday’s game.
The Wings broke open a 1-1 tie with three goals on five shots in less than three minutes late in the middle period, and the first two of those tallies were separated by a mere nine seconds.
“Yeah, that was the worst of the year by far,” says Caps winger Brett Connolly. “Guys were not happy in between periods. We’re trying to build our game up here, and trying to get points. And obviously, we got a point. It’s a positive, but guys are not happy in the room. Yeah, not good. I don’t think anybody’s going to be happy tonight, going to sleep. Can’t start like that in games.”
Asked after the contest whether he was angry about his team’s second-period performance or happy that they were able to come back to pick up a point, Caps coach Barry Trotz answered as you’d expect a bench boss to answer.
“Angry about the second period,” replies Trotz. “The first period was fine. I felt that we could have been up a couple of pucks, but we missed on a couple of opportunities, missed the net on some real good chances, and then you come out of that period 1-1.
“Second period, [the Red Wings] were hungry. They were winning the races, they were playing quicker, they were playing better, they were just more determined, more desperate, whatever terms you want to say.”
Trotz didn’t blame Braden Holtby for the goals against…
“We’re scoring enough, we’re getting four goals, says Trotz. “We’ve just got to keep them out of our net a little bit. I thought Holts – I mean, we gave up five goals – but I thought Holts played a real strong game for us and he gave up five goals. So that’s on the group, that’s on the staff, that’s on everybody. We’ve got to put as much pride into keeping pucks out of our net as we do scoring right now.”
And, as he told the Washington Times’ Matthew Paras, Holtby gave it to the Caps verbally after the 2nd period, and understandably so:
“He was upset and rightfully so,” Trotz said. “We left him to dry.”
The Capitals could have looked at Sunday’s effort in one of two ways: They either were relieved they climbed out of such a hole in 20 minutes and still managed to earn a point in the standings, or they could be upset they allowed the second period to happen in the first place.They chose the latter.
“We got a point we didn’t deserve,” Trotz said. “We took a period off.”
“We’ve got to look for consistency here,” center Nicklas Backstrom said. “That’s what’s going to make us successful here in the future.”
The Capitals did rally to tie the game, as the Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty noted…
Fans at Capital One Arena were quieted after loud, collective sighs followed each goal, and a “Let’s go Red Wings!” chant echoed from the rafters while a few scattered “Let’s Go Caps” cheers petered out. Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said a frustrated Holtby addressed his teammates between periods.
“A lot was said,” added Capitals center Jay Beagle. “It’s not good enough. No one wants to play like that in the second. We knew that wasn’t good enough and we came out and responded in the third.”
The comeback started with Connolly’s 14th goal of the season, a whistling wrist shot past Howard. Orlov slimmed the Red Wings’ lead to one with 5:58 left, and the Capitals emptied their net as the game clock ticked past the two-minute mark. Their six-on-five advantage soon became six-on-four when Dan DeKeyser went to the penalty box for holding with 1:15 left in regulation.
Highlights: NHL.com posted a 4:45 highlight clip…
And the Capitals also posted a 7:33 clip of comments from Jay Beagle, Brett Connolly and Nicklas Backstrom;
Fox Sports Detroit posted post-game comments from Henrik Zetterberg…
Photos: The Free Press posted a 20-image gallery;
The Detroit News posted a 7-image gallery;
ESPN posted an 11-image gallery;
Here’s the Game Summary…
And the Event Summary:
Final shot attempts were 57-49 Detroit.
Red Wings notebooks and also of Red Wings-related note: From the Detroit News’s Ted Kulfan:
Anthony Mantha’s goal Sunday gave him 19 for the season and three in the last two games.
Mantha was a noticeable force during the weekend, using his big body and showing speed.
“What I’m seeing now is work ethic,” Blashill said. “He’s been excellent. His second effort has been good. He’s skating. He’s been real good.”
With Mantha, Blashill is consistent in his belief that as long as Mantha skates hard, he’ll be a factor.
“He’s bending his knees,” Blashill said. “When he bends his knees and skates, he’s excellent. That’s the fire-starter for him. The one thing that makes a big difference is when he bends his knees and skates rather than when he’s straight-legged. He’s been working on that for a long time and his work ethic has been great the last 10 games.”