Wings Lose to Capitals in First Period

It seems like so long ago when Detroit last won a game, an entire week and a half ago if you can believe it. The Wings last win was against Los Angeles on March 9th. It feels like so much longer though. The Wings did not win one game on their California road trip and now have lost their first game at home against the Washington Capitals. What do you think is keeping the Wings from playing like the Wings?

The Wings fell behind 3 to 0 in the first period and played catch up the rest of the game. There was a lot of talk before the game about how good of a player Alex Ovechkin is, which he proved early on in the game. Ovechkin scored on both power plays for the Capitals in the first period, the first eight minutes in and the second fifteen minutes in. The Wings had a potential goal in the first period, which ended up counting as a “no goal” because of Holmstrom’s interference with the goalie. It was in that power play that Ovechkin scored, quite the slap in the face to Holmstrom and the Detroit Red Wings. In between Ovechkin’s goals, Mike Knuble scored a slap shot goal (pictured above). The period ended with a 3 to 0 lead for the Capitals, shots on goal lead by the Wings 12 versus the Capitals 10 shots.

If all hope was not already lost, the Wings helped restore a little of it when Kyle Quincey ended the Wings power play drought with a goal five minutes into the second period. The score now read 3 to 1. Keith Aucoin scored a wrist shot goal with under three minutes to go in the second. The second period ended 4 to 1, shots on goal lead by Detroit 10 to 9.

Only thirty-six seconds into the third period, Todd Bertuzzi scored a beautiful goal! Surprisingly, the next goal also came from a Detroit player. Danny Cleary scored a goal off of a beautiful play by Brendan Smith. The Wings were right back in it after that, only down 4 to 3. Washington called a time out, and then received a penalty shortly after. Detroit seemed to finally catch a break. The Wings had one minute to score a goal and tie the game before Henrik Zetterberg received a silly holding penalty, which really seemed to seal the win for the Capitals. Coach Mike Babcock pulled Howard, leaving the Wings with an empty net and Jason Chimera added an empty net, power play goal. The game ended twenty seconds later, the Capitals winning 5 to 3 against Detroit.The shots on goal for the third period was 11 to 3, Detroit leading by anoverwhelming amount. Overall, Detroit lead shots on goal 33 to 22.

The Wings really had a lot of effort, but the Wings cannot get behind like that, especially against such a great team like Washington. It would be easy to assume that confidence is taking a hit against the Detroit team. The Wings have too many injuries, which is really breaking the Wings flow. Coach Mike Babcock is forced to come up with different lines every game, which is making the Wings out of sync. It just seems the team cannot catch a break and cannot land any positive drive. I was worried about Jimmy Howard, but Larry Murphy made a good point. Howard really has not been the difference in this team. He is not letting in extremely weak goals, he has been playing pretty strong. It really seems to be the lineup that is hurting the Wings. They have looked better since Datsyuk has joined again. However, his presence is just not enough. Detroit needs their entire team and to get their rhythm back.

The next game is on Wednesday, March 21st against the New York Rangers at 7:30PM. Follow TCL Red Wings on Facebook and Twitter for more Wings coverage and to win a free Nicklas Lidstrom jersey.

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Kyle Andrew Busch's picture

Howard can't be blamed. I was at the Joe and all four were not his fault: an amazing passing play, a wide open ovie clapper from the hashmarks, a third rebound and a giveaway right in the crease. Detroit was terrible today. Injuries aren't an issue; it's tactics. babcock didn't change a thing today. Half of their 'shots' were half-hearted dump ins.