Photo credit: Patrick McDermott
For the last few games, Washington’s offense has been lacking. Alex Ovechkin has struggled to score — going five games without a goal — while the rest of the lines have struggled to click as Barry Trotz’s looks for line combinations that will gel. On Wednesday, they got the offense. Washington clearly outclassed the Red Wings but made a few inexplicable mistakes. They hurt.
“They’re not playing overly poor,” Trotz said after the game. “You’ve just got to put your nose to the grindstone and plow through it.”
“Every turnover we did have ended up in the back of the net a little bit,” he added.
First, Marcus Johansson gave away the puck in the defensive zone midway through the first period, when he overskated a puck lying at his feet. Justin Abdelkader picked it up and flipped it to Gustav Nyquist, who was alone in front. Nyquist took a few whacks at Braden Holtby and opened the scoring.
The mistakes continued in the third period as Washington held onto a 2-1 lead. Brooks Orpik collected a rebound off the end boards before wrapping around the net. He failed to notice Pavel Datsyuk, who swiped the puck from behind Orpik before stuffing it on net. The puck then went in the slot, where Andre Burakovsky blew right by it. Abdelkader got his own goal this time, tying the game.
“Those are the things that are killers,” Trotz said of the goal. “Big-time killers.”
Finally, the Wings won the game when John Carlson’s breakout pass was intercepted by Henrik Zetterberg. Datsyuk then skated the puck one-on-four, before dropping it off for Abdelkader, who slapped it past Holtby.
“You need that save,” Trotz said. “We didn’t get it. We were chasing the game after that.”
Holtby accepted responsibility, with a passive aggressive dig at his temporarily incompetent teammates.
“It’s out of my control,” he said of the turnovers. “It’s not my job. Each of us have certain role on the ice and my job is to make up for those who don’t do that.”
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