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Capitals vs. Red Wings Recap: Holtby Shines Bright, Kuzy Ends It In OT

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Braden Holtby saved everything but the kitchen sink and Kuznetsov did what he does in OT as the Capitals escape Detroit with two points.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

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It took overtime in Detroit on Wednesday, but some recipes just call for a little longer. This one called for a stellar .962 performance from Braden Holtby, and the mischievous trickster that is 3-on-3 overtime and its muse, Evgeny Kuznetsov, who shelved one in the extra stanza to give the Caps the win.

Here's Wednesday night's Plus/Minus:

  • Plus: Braden Holtby, over and over again. He made some vintage did-you-see-that saves that remind hockey fans that defense can be sexy, too.
  • Minus: Power plays, for everybody, all over the ice. Washington and Detroit combined to go 1-for-8 on the man-advantage, a percentage that would get a Mike Milbury intermission hit piece compiled about you with footage of you looking frustrated.

And now, this...

Ten more notes on the game:

  • Mike Green was a non-factor tonight. And like, did you see his new team? How much cuter are we than his new team? Like, as if, whatever. His loss.
  • First star to the crossbar in Detroit. It kept out no fewer than three Caps' shots, and is in general a wily foe.
  • Nate Schmidt was once again a plus tonight, but sort of a wiggly, fuzzy plus. He shanked a wide-open, potentially game-winning shot late in the game that you simply have to put on net in the NHL. When this kid gels, he's going to be very good. For now, he's still working.
  • The Capitals' power play went 1-for-6, a paltry percentage indeed. It often looked jerky and uncomfortable, like me at prom.
  • The Red Wings' power play went o-for-2, so good look to the guys on the other end of the Caps' special teams, the penalty killers.
  • Justin Williams skates the same sort of flight path that a drunken housefly might take. Many times, that leaves him unexpectedly facing the right way to lay down a slick rush-inducing assist, but sometimes, as tonight, leaves him passing backwards, and killing momentum.
  • Speaking of momentum, the Capitals need to figure out their zone entries. Tonight was apparently Dump And Chase Night at Joe Louis Arena, and the Caps did not win enough of the "chase" parts to justify the "dumps." Enter confidently, stride in. Bond style.
  • Mike Milbury thinks there is pressure on Alex Ovechkin to get his 484th goal and pass Sergei Fedorov. I think there is pressure on Mike Milbury to pick only three sauces at Arby's.
  • Nicklas Backstrom looked pretty good back on the top line with Ovechkin. He adds a stability that the high-flying but ill-disciplined top line was previously lacking.
  • I do miss hearing Joe Beninati and Craig Laughlin call the games, but boy there is just no one in the business better than Doc Emrick.

The Capitals looked a little herky-jerky getting the power play going, but Braden Holtby's heroics at the other end more than made up for the trouble. You love to see a team win the close, 1-1 games. Hell, you just love to see 'em win. It's a quick turnaround as the Stars come to town Thursday night at Verizon.

Game highlights: