Washington, DC, United States (4E Sports) – Joel Ward scored twice and Alex Ovechkin recorded the game-winning goal in overtime as the Washington Capitals overcame a hat trick by Gustav Nyquist to beat the Detroit Red Wings, 6-5, Sunday at Verizon Center.
Ovechkin blasted his NHL-leading 39th goal of the season past Jimmy Howard at 2:37 on the power play in overtime as the Capitals (25-22-9) arrested a two-game losing skid.
Jason Chimera, Troy Brouwer and John Carlson also scored while Michal Neuvirth tallied 25 saves for the Capitals, who went 3-for-6 with a man advantage.
Gustav Nyquist earned his first career hat trick, Justin Abdelkader and Tomas Tatar added a goal each while Jimmy Howard recorded 22 saves for the Red Wings, who dropped to 24-19-12 after losing three of their last four outings.
A hardworking shift by the Capitals’ third line that left the Red Wings scrambling led to Jason Chimera’s 12th goal of the season at 4:43.
Ward then extended Washington’s lead to 2-0 less than three minutes later on the power play, receiving a pass from Marcus Johansson in the slot and rifling it past Howard.
The Red Wings were able to cut into their early deficit at 11:40. Neuvirth stopped Daniel Alfredsson’s shot, but the rebound popped out right to Nyquist in the slot. The goal snapped Detroit’s scoreless streak at 194:14.
Carlson restored the Capitals’ two-goal lead at 16:05 with a blast from the high slot, setting a career high with his 10th goal.
In the second, Tatar scored off the rush, his wrist shot clipping Neuvirth’s blocker and finding its way into the back of the net.
Nineteen seconds later, Ward crashed the crease for his 17th of the season, tying his career high set in 2008-09 as a member of the Nashville Predators.
Not to be outdone, Nyquist scored his second of the game at 18:49 when he tipped in Henrik Zetterberg’s feed through the crease past Neuvirth.
Just 42 seconds into the third period, Nyquist struck again in nearly identical fashion when he tipped another Zetterberg pass past Neuvirth on the rush to tie the game at 4-4.
Troy Brouwer broke the tie at 4:28, pouncing on a turnover, but Justin Abdelkader responded at 6:25, sliding a backhand past Neuvirth’s reach.