Henrik Zetterberg notched a pair of goals including the game-winner midway through the third period as Detroit won a battle of second-place teams with Washington, 3-2.
Zetterberg skated down the right-wing boards and flung a harmless-looking backhand shot past Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth that gave Detroit a 3-2 edge with 10:07 to play. Zetterberg opened the scoring as well, ripping a one-timer past Neuvirth on a pass from Brian Rafalski. The goal was Zetterberg’s first in nine games.
Valtteri Filppula scored the other Red Wings goal and Rafalski added three assists after missing time with back spasms. Jimmy Howard made 26 stops and picked up his third win in a row.
Unsurprisingly, Alex Ovechkin scored for Washington as did John Carlson. Washington had their nine-game winning streak snapped while Detroit extended theirs to three.
Carlson beat Howard just 33 seconds after Zetterberg opened the game’s scoring in the first period. The tie wouldn’t last long either, as Filppula tipped Rafalski’s shot from the blue line past Neuvirth to regain the lead two minutes later.
Ovechkin tied it 5:53 into the second period, going one-on-one with Wings defenseman Brad Stuart before ripping a shot past Howard.
The win gives Detroit 92 points on the season and puts them four points ahead of San Jose for second place in the Western Conference. Detroit also has a game in hand on the Sharks.