East-leading Caps head to bottom feeder Detroit

Field Level Media

A team tied for the most points in the league faces the club with far and away the fewest when the Washington Capitals head to Detroit to face the Red Wings on Saturday.

Washington has recorded a pair of 4-3 victories this week, taking down Florida on Wednesday and Tampa Bay on Friday (though the Capitals needed an overtime goal from Dmitry Orlov to finish off the Lightning).

Washington, the Metropolitan Division leader, had lost its previous two games.

On Friday, the Capitals twice erased a two-goal deficit -- including one in the final period to force overtime. Orlov's goal was just his second this season. His other goal came during the season opener.

"I had a few good chances before, and pucks didn't go in," Orlov told NHL.com. "Today I got a post, a broken stick, and finally the puck found the net. It was a good comeback by us."

Star forward Alex Ovechkin scored the tying goal on a power play. Ovechkin has scored in back-to-back games after tallying twice in the previous eight games.

"We just were focusing on getting that second goal in that third period, and then go from there," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "Great job by the players, staying focused until the very end."

Washington scored on both of its power-play opportunities.

"To win the special teams was important for us to be able to have success in this game," Reirden said.

The Wings will be looking to end an eight-game winless streak. They were pounded 6-1 at Philadelphia on Friday.

At least they scored a goal. They failed to do that in the previous two games, including a 6-0 blanking by Toronto on Wednesday. The Leafs outshot them 54-25.

Detroit was a little more competitive on Friday. The score was 2-1 until the Flyers scored in the final minute of the second period. Philadelphia then scored twice more in the first minute of the third period.

"To me, this was light years different than the game against Toronto. They're not even comparable," coach Jeff Blashill told reporters. "We played way, way faster, we did lots of stuff. But we can't make the mistakes that we made and they end up in the net."

Calvin Pickard made his season debut in goal. Longtime goalie Jimmy Howard was placed on the injured list on Friday and will miss at least seven days. The Wings have a number of other players sidelined, including leading scorer Anthony Mantha and top defenseman Danny DeKeyser.

They have been outscored 19-2 over their last four games.

"You're not going to give up six and win many games," Blashill said. "We don't score easy, so we've got to make sure we buckle down and we're way better and we don't give up these kinds of chances."

This will be the first meeting between the teams. They'll see each other twice more in March.

The Capitals swept the three-game series last season. They won at home 3-1 and 6-2, then edged Detroit at Little Caesars Arena 3-2. Ovechkin led the Capitals in those games with four goals.

--Field Level Media

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