Washington – The losses are beginning to mount for the Red Wings.
Unable to do much offensively, particularly on the power play in this game and again giving up a costly third-period goal, the Red Wings lost 1-0 Friday to the Washington Capitals.
Washington’s Jay Beagle scored at 14 minutes, 49 seconds of the third period, giving the Capitals the hard-earned victory.
The loss was the third consecutive for the Red Wings (8-9-1, 17 points), who have won only twice in their last 10 games (2-7-1).
“We have to be strong, we know that we’re doing a lot of good things but we’re not getting points,” captain Henrik Zetterberg said. “You have to get points in this league. It’s hard to lose but it’s something positive at least that we’re playing better.
“We just have to stay with it.”
Washington (11-4-2, 24 points) has won eight of its last 10 games.
Beagle scored on a scramble in front of goalie Jimmy Howard, putting back a rebound of Dmitry Orlov’s shot from the point past Howard.
Beagle spun from a screen he was providing and jumped on the loose puck to the side, after Howard steered away the rebound.
“It was a big scrum,” said Howard, who rebounded from getting pulled last week in Montreal to stop 27 shots. “I didn’t pick the puck up until it went off my left foot. I wish I could have put it in a better spot for the guys.”
Howard was pulled for an extra skater with 1:40 left in the game but Holtby made a great stop on Zetterberg, who was called for a tripping penalty moments later, stalling any Red Wings comeback.
The Capitals played shorthanded from midway in the first period, as they lost forwards T.J. Oshie, Lars Eller and Andre Burakovsky to injuries.
That forced the Capitals to go three lines – nine healthy forwards – and put them into a safer, defensive game.
It worked against a Red Wings team that failed to capitalize on its four power plays and didn’t make life difficult enough for goalie Braden Holtby (25 saves, 24th career shutout).
“There’s no question we have to score on those power play looks, that ended up being the difference in the game,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “If we score, obviously a big advantage for us at that point.
“We can’t let frustration get in the way. Frustration does no good at all. We have to make sure our focus remains to get better every day. Games like this and Tampa (Tuesday), we played real good hockey and we have to find a way to get results.”
The Red Wings had four power plays through two periods and failed to convert against one of the better penalty killing teams in the NHL.
Washington was outshot 12-7 by the Red Wings in the second period, but Holtby was calm and confident in the net, frustrating the Red Wings.
The first period saw the Red Wings outshot 11-5 but Howard’s goaltending kept the game scoreless.
The Red Wings’ penalty kill kept Washington off the scoreboard during a five-minute power play (Danny DeKeyser boarding former Plymouth Whaler Tom Wilson).
“The kill was big for us,” Blashill said. “That’s a tough kill against a real god power play. We made a few mistakes and when we did, Jimmy was great.
“We gained momentum off it, unfortunately it wasn’t enough.”