Capitals notch first preseason win holding off Red Wings

Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals took care of business on Thursday night at Capital One Arena. They allowed the game’s first goal. Took over. Almost blew a three goal lead but ultimately hung on at the end for a 4-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings to even their preseason record at 1-0-1.

The first period was scoreless as the Red Wings led in shots 10-5.

Daniel Sprong, the former Caps player who also did not fare well in the Peter Laviolette era got things started with a wrist shot goal at 3:35. Nicklas Backstrom tied it at 7:38 with the play started by Ivan Miroshnichenko dishing it to Alex Ovechkin and Ovi finding Backy through a defender’s legs.

At 12:26 Evgeny Kuznetsov won a face off and Tom Wilson quickly shot it in for a bang bang goal to give the Caps the 2-1 lead. That would be the score after 40 with the Caps leading in shots 10-9 in the second period.

At 7:10 in the third period the Caps made it 3-1 with a Rasmus Sandin shot from downtown which was assisted by Andrew Cristall and Wilson. John Carlson made it 4-1 with a spin o rama in front of the net. The play was created by Miroshnichenko and was also assisted by Michael Sgarbossa.

For Miroshnichenko it was a long time coming to see him finally dress up in the Capitals red. He was picked in the first round in 2022 but due to his Hodgkins lymphoma he wasn’t able to play in preseason action. He didn’t return to hockey until the new year but came to North America after a good year in the KHL.

The Red Wings made things interesting with two goals from Robby Fabbri at 16:56 and 18:47. In the end, starting net minder Charlie Lindgren fended off a last minute push to preserve the win. He made 27 saves on 30 shots for the night.

The Caps outshot the Red Wings 14-11 in the third period but were outshot thanks to that late push 30-29. The teams voluntarily did a practice shootout following the game and the Caps won that one too. T.J. Oshie and Connor McMichael had the goal for the Caps. Red Wings only managed one goal but the shootout for them did start with Sprong getting stopped by Lindgren.

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The teams will meet again this Saturday night this time at Little Caesars Arena. The game will be hot n ready at 7 p.m. on Monumental Sports Network.