Friday, December 31, 2021 07:30 PM (ET)

Alex Ovechkin's two goals lead Capitals past Red Wings

Field Level Media
Dec 31, 2021

Alex Ovechkin scored the go-ahead goal with 2:51 remaining and added an empty-netter in the final minute as the visiting Washington Capitals edged the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on Friday.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, while Ilya Samsonov made 19 saves.

Pius Suter scored for Detroit, and Thomas Greiss stopped 24 shots.

The Red Wings played for the first time since Dec. 18. They had four games postponed due to a COVID outbreak among the team and some of their opponents, and they have lost five of their past seven contests.

Detroit had an 11-5 shots-on-goal advantage in the first period but neither side scored.

The game was tied 1-1 after two periods.

Just two seconds after the expiration of the game's first penalty -- a tripping infraction committed by the Capitals' Dmitry Orlov -- the Red Wings scored the first goal. Sam Gagner passed the puck from behind the Washington net to Suter, who one-timed his sixth goal this season. Vladislav Namestnikov had the second assist at 1:43 of the period.

Kuznetsov tied it with 4:07 remaining in the middle period when he skated past a defenseman and beat Greiss on the stick side. Kuznetsov's 11th goal was assisted by Lucas Johansen, who was making his NHL debut, and Matt Irwin. Johansen became the eighth Washington player to make his NHL debut this season.

Greiss snared a slap shot by Ovechkin six minutes into the third to tie the score.

With Robby Fabbri in the penalty box for interference, Ovechkin ripped a shot from the right point that snuck through Greiss' pads with 2:51 remaining in the third. Kuznetsov and Nicklas Backstrom assisted on the play.

Ovechkin put the game away with 40.6 seconds left with his empty-net tally, with his 24th of the season coming on assists from Garnet Hathaway and John Carlson.

Washington has won three of its past four games while also having three games postponed during that stretch.

--Field Level Media

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