After watching the Detroit Red Wings build a 4-1 lead, the Caps scored three times in the third period to force overtime before succumbing in a 5-4 loss on Sunday.
The Caps did everything right for the first 10 minutes. Against a scuffling Detroit Red Wings team, Washington forced an early penalty and scored on the resulting power play for the 1-0 lead. A turnover in the neutral zone, however, led to a breakaway goal for Justin Abdelkader. The ice tilted squarely in Detroit's favor in the second period. Braden Holtby kept the game tied for much of the second, but the Red Wings finally solved the Caps' netminder with three late goals to take a 4-1 lead to the locker room.
The Caps tried to mount a comeback as Brett Connolly scored early and Dmitry Orlov pulled the good guys to within one. Washington tied the game with just 16.7 seconds remaining thanks to a Nicklas Backstrom power play goal.
Tomas Tatar, however, would finish off what the Red Wings started as he scored on a 2-on-1 in overtime.
Here are the three stars of the game.
1. Tomas Tatar: The Caps nearly completed the comeback, but Tatar finished them off in overtime as he backhanded shot to the roof to beat Braden Holtby on a 2-on-1. It was his second goal of the game as he also scored with just 11 seconds remaining in the second period to give Detroit the 4-1 lead.
2. Justin Abdelkader: Washington was in control in the first period until Justin Abdelkader swooped in to steal the puck away from Matt Niskanen. Niskanen went to retrieve the puck in the neutral zone, but he could not control the bouncing biscuit allowing Abdelkader the opportunity to steal it. Abdelkader was in alone on Holtby and deked him badly before tucking the puck into the net behind him. In the second period, Abdelkader drew a holding the stick penalty early from Lars Eller. The Red Wings would not score on the resulting power play, but it allowed them to build momentum to take control of the period and ultimately the game.
3. Alex Ovechkin: Ovechkin scored his 10th power play goal of the season in the first period as he fired a one-timer past Jimmy Howard from the office.
The goal was Ovechkin's league-leading 33rd of the season. In 55 games, he matched his goal total from all of last season. He also added an assist on Backstrom's late, game-tying goal.