Alex Ovechkin scores two goals in 3rd, Capitals beat Red Wings

FILE Alex Ovechkin Capitals Red Wings Hockey
Posted at 10:21 PM, Dec 31, 2021

DETROIT (AP) — Alex Ovechkin had two goals in the third period, including the go-ahead score with 2:51 remaining, and the Washington Capitals topped the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on Friday night.

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

Detroit scored the first goal early in the second period when Sam Gagner backhanded a pass from behind the Caps’ net and Suter fired it past Samsonov for his sixth goal this season.

Defenseman Lucas Johansen, who was making his NHL debut, assisted on Kuznetsov’s 11th goal with 4:07 left in the period.

Ovechkin gave Washington the lead with a power-play goal and 2:51 left. He ripped a slap shot from the right point to beat Greiss. He added an empty netter in the final minute for his 24th goal this season.


Defenseman Nick Leddy is the only Red Wings player remaining in COVID protocol. Washington still has six players in protocol -- Daniel Sprong, Justin Schultz, Nick Jensen, Vitek Vanecek, Dennis Cholowski and Martin Fehervary … Defenseman Lucas Johansen, who was called up from Hershey of the American Hockey League this week and assigned to the Capitals’ taxi squad, became the eighth Washington player to make his NHL debut this season. … Samsonov’s only other career start against Detroit came on Nov. 30, 2019, a 5-2 Washington victory. … The Red Wings’ Lucas Raymond leads all NHL rookies with 28 points. ... Washington won the season series 2-1.


Capitals: Host New Jersey Devils on Sunday.

Red Wings: Host Boston Bruins on Sunday.