A battle between the best and worst teams in the NHL had the predictable outcome, as Alex Ovechkin notched a hat trick to lead the Washington Capitals to a 5-2 win at Detroit on Saturday.
The Capitals (43 points) now lead the NHL in points and have won five of their last seven games. On the other side, Detroit has a league-worst 17 points and is winless in its last nine, including seven straight regulation losses.
The Red Wings opened the scoring on a power play with 8:13 left in the first period on a goal by Robby Fabbri. He found himself all alone in front of the Washington goal after taking a pass from Dylan Larkin, made a deke on the backhand and placed a shot underneath the crossbar.
It remained that way until early in the second period, when Washington took advantage of a power play of its own. With 17:41 left in the second, T.J. Oshie took a pass from Jakub Vrana and fired a one-timer from the slot past Red Wings goalie Jonathan Bernier to tie the game at 1-1.
Washington then took a 2-1 lead with 10:39 left in the second on a goal by Ovechkin, who skated around the back of the Detroit net on a rush and fired it into a half-open goal.
The Capitals took a 3-1 lead with 5:37 remaining on a goal by Tom Wilson, who skated in to the side of Bernier, cut across the crease and poked a backhand between Bernier’s legs.
The Red Wings responded immediately, as Luke Glendening scored just nine seconds later to cut Washington’s lead to 3-2. Glendening took a pass from Tyler Bertuzzi between the face-off circles and fired a shot that went off of the inside of the post and in.
After the Red Wings pulled Bernier with just under two minutes remaining, Ovechkin scored an empty-net goal with 1:35 left to seal the win for Washington.
Ovechkin capped the hat trick — the 25th of his career — with another empty-net goal with 54.4 seconds remaining.
—Field Level Media