WASHINGTON (AP) — Even when Alex Ovechkin goes without a shot, the Washington Capitals seem to be able to score at will, especially at home. And win, of course.
Ovechkin did not put a puck on net all game for the first time in nearly four years, and it didn’t matter one bit, because T.J. Oshie scored twice and set up John Carlson’s go-ahead goal for the NHL-leading Capitals, who collected their 11th consecutive home victory by beating the Detroit Red Wings 6-3 Thursday night.
Washington has scored at least five goals in each of its past 10 games at home. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the only other NHL team with such a streak was the 1970-71 Boston Bruins, who scored at least five in 11 consecutive home games.
“There are certain buildings that are tough buildings to come into. … Hopefully we can continue it,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. “You’re coming into a building where you’re going, ‘Man, they come at you, come at you, come at you.'”
That’s normally Ovechkin’s style of play: He is one of three players in NHL history with at least seven 50-goal seasons and he has produced more than 500 more shots than any other player since the start of the 2000-01 season, even though he was a rookie in 2005-06.
Not since March 12, 2013, against Carolina had the Russian wing played a game without taking a shot. He had 15 against Detroit in one game last season.
“He’s such a force. I don’t think that’s going to happen too often,” Trotz said about the zero shots. “So he’ll probably come back with a vengeance, knowing him.”
It was 3-all in the third period when Oshie took advantage of a tired Red Wings group, stole the puck and slid a pass to Carlson, whose slap shot beat Petr Mrazek at the 4:15 mark.
Oshie’s 21st goal had put Washington ahead 3-2 in the second period, and his 22nd added insurance on a power play with a little more than 5 1/2 minutes remaining in the game.
He has 23 points in the last 19 games, and Washington is 20-0-1 when the right wing earns a point this season.
Marcus Johansson, Brett Connolly and Nicklas Backstrom also scored for the Capitals.
Andreas Athanasiou had two goals in the first period for the Red Wings, and Henrik Zetterberg scored early in the third against goalie Braden Holtby.
Detroit, which entered tied for the fewest points in the Eastern Conference, was outshot 31-17.
“I don’t think we played good enough. … We had way too many turnovers,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.
The Capitals have outscored opponents 56-15 during their home winning streak, which began on New Year’s Day.
“We had a good team last year, but I feel we are playing with better confidence now. It’s calmer, too. We’re not as … fired up at all times. That’s actually a good thing,” Backstrom said. “We’re not panicking when we’re down a goal and stuff like that.”
NOTES: Capitals F Andre Burakovsky injured his hand in the first period and Trotz said he’ll “miss a little bit of time.” … Detroit D Jonathan Ericsson fractured his wrist when he was slammed into the boards in the first period by Backstrom, who was sent to the penalty box. Blashill wasn’t sure how long Ericsson would be out but said it could be “maybe eight weeks.”
Red Wings: Go from the Eastern Conference’s No. 1 team to its No. 2 team, playing at Columbus on Saturday.
Capitals: Host Anaheim on Saturday before heading to their bye week.