DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings have not been good in shootouts this season, but they won a long one on Friday night.
Right winger Patrick Eaves scored the only goal of a seven-round shootout to give Detroit a 4-3 victory over the Washington Capitals
at Joe Louis Arena. The Red Wings are 4-8 in shootouts this season.
The game was sent into overtime by right winger Alexander Ovechkin's league-leading 39th goal, which came with seven seconds left in regulation and Washington goalie Michal Neuvirth
pulled for the extra attacker. Ovechkin's slap shot from the left point tied the score at 3.
"It wasn't as bad as it might have looked as a viewer. We still had confidence," Eaves said. "We were just like, 'OK, we're in overtime. If it doesn't happen then, we'll win in a shootout.' That was our mindset on the bench. He's a great player. He's going to score those goals. That's life. You just got to deal with it."
After the scoreless five-minute overtime, Eaves scored after the first 12 shooters had been denied by Detroit's Jimmy Howard
and Neuvirth, who made 42 saves in the first 65 minutes.
"You're watching. I'm just as excited as the fans watching a shootout. You're watching the goalies' tendencies and trying to pick up something," Eaves said. "He (Neuvirth) played unbelievable tonight. Then you got to know what you can do and go in with confidence."
Howard then stopped Jay Beagle to complete the rare Red Wings shootout win.
Left winger Drew Miller, defenseman Danny DeKeyser and right winger Gustav Nyquist
scored for Detroit in regulation.
Howard stopped 26 shots. He returned after missing three games with a knee injury.
"We needed the win. We found a way to win, which is great, obviously," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I would have liked to get the two points in regulation so they got none. We just missed a lane there at the end and Ovechkin's a dangerous guy, as you know.
"I thought our team played real well tonight, basically from start to finish. We had some real good opportunities that we didn't bury, so we gotta focus on that in practice and finish on our opportunities. But I thought we played a good game."
Ovechkin added an assist, left winger Jason Chimera also had a goal and an assist and center Casey Wellman
scored for Washington. John Carlson had two assists.
"Obviously, very frustrating being so close to a win, but at least we got one point," Neuvirth said.
Ovechkin complimented Neuvirth's play.
"It's tough when our goalie plays so well and keeps us in game," Ovechkin said. "He gave us a chance to win the game and we didn't, but he was unstoppable. He was unbelievable."
The two teams meet again on Sunday afternoon in Washington.
Nyquist gave Detroit a 3-2 lead with 9:45 remaining in the third period on a wrist shot from the high slot off the rush. The unassisted score was Nyquist's 10th goal and fifth in his last six games.
Wellman tied it 2-2 8:09 into the third period when he put in the second rebound of his own shots for Wellman's second goal.
DeKeyser gave the Red Wings a 2-1 lead with 1:39 left in the second period. His third goal came on a slap shot from the high slot after a faceoff win by center Riley Sheahan.
Miller tied it at 1 at 2:09 ofthe second period when he put a loose puck into an open net during a goal-mouth scramble. It was Miller's sixth goal of the season.
Chimera opened the scoring with a power-play goal with 5:36 remaining in the first period. Standing at the lip of the crease, he tipped in center Nicklas Backstrom's pass for Chimera's 11th goal of the season.
Despite trailing 1-0 after the first 20 minutes, Detroit outshot Washington 22-5.
Howard stopped Capitals right winger Troy Bouwer on a breakaway with a little more than 6:20 left in the first period.
Neuvirth made a spectacular glove save on Red Wings right winger Gustav Nyquist's shot off a rebound 9:28 into the game.
NOTES: Detroit C and captain Henrik Zetterberg returned after missing two games with a sore back. ... Washington recalled D Tyson Strachan from the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis and reassigned C Ryan Stoa to Hershey. ... The Red Wings were without C Pavel Datsyuk (leg), RW Johan Franzen (post-concussion syndrome and who will not play in the Olympics after being picked for Team Sweden), C Steven Weiss (groin) and C Cory Emmerton (finger). ... Capitals G Michal Neuvirth and rookie RW Tom Wilson and D Connor Carrick played junior hockey with the Ontario Hockey League's Plymouth Whalers, who are based in suburban Detroit. ... Washington D Mike Green was a late scratch with an upper-body injury. ... It was Detroit's 3,000th home game in franchise history.
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- Ice Hockey
- Red Wings
- Alexander Ovechkin
- Michal Neuvirth
- Washington Capitals
- Jimmy Howard