DETROIT (AP) — Henrik Zetterberg scored a tiebreaking goal on Detroit’s fifth shootout attempt and then Petr Mrazek stopped Alex Ovechkin, sending the Red Wings to a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday.
Detroit jumped to a 2-0 lead on goals by Fran Nielsen in the first period and Tomas Tatar in the second, but high-scoring Washington responded. Zach Sanford scored late in the second period and Daniel Winnik tied it with 4:48 left in the third.
Mrazek made 34 saves, including two on a power play with 6-plus minutes left in regulation and one early in overtime. Led by Mrazek, the last-place Red Wings avoided a season-long, six-game losing streak.
The Eastern Conference-leading Capitals had won six straight, but couldn’t overcome a league-wide trend for teams coming off a bye. Entering the weekend, teams were 3-9-2 in their first game after a five-day break.
Washington’s Braden Holtby stopped 21 shots. He had won his last 14 decisions, tied for the third-longest winning streak by a goaltender in a season.
As poorly as the Red Wings have played this season, they are a perfect 7-0 when games are decided in a shootout. And as good as Washington has been, it has won only one of six games that was extended past overtime.
Thomas Vanek opened the shootout with a goal, making him 5 for 5 in the tiebreaker in Detroit. T.J. Oshie followed and missed the net. With a chance to put the Red Wings up two, Nielsen failed to get the puck past Holtby. Evgeny Kuznetsov took advantage of the opportunity, scoring on Mrazek to make it 1-all in the shootout.
Detroit’s Andreas Athanasiou and Tatar were stopped by Holtby, giving Brett Connolly a chance to end the game. But he was stopped by Mrazek.
The crowd roared when Zetterberg went on the ice for a fifth opportunity and got even louder in the following seconds when he scored and Mrazek dropped Ovechkin to 0 for 3 in shootouts this season.
NOTES: Washington, which hadn’t played since Feb. 11, was without F Andre Burakovsky for a second straight game because of a hand injury. … Detroit D Mike Green, a former Capital, was scratched with an illness.
Capitals: Visit the New York Rangers on Sunday.
Red Wings: Visit Pittsburgh on Sunday.