WASHINGTON (AP) — Michal Kempny and Alex Ovechkin scored 1:56 apart in the third period, helping the Washington Capitals beat the Detroit Red Wings 3-1 on Friday for their season-high fourth consecutive victory.
Kempny snapped a 1-1 tie with a slap shot at 6:38, and Ovechkin extended the lead to 3-1 with his 16th of the season.
Kempny had not scored this season until Washington’s previous game, a 4-2 victory over Chicago on Wednesday. Ovechkin and Tom Wilson each finished with a goal and an assist against Detroit.
The Red Wings were 9-2 in their last 11 games before the trip to Washington.
Detroit controlled play throughout the first period, often keeping the puck in the Washington end. It recorded 14 of the game’s first 15 shots and took a 1-0 lead when Andreas Athanasiou scored his 10th of the season at 8:46.
The Red Wings repeatedly pressured the Capitals throughout the first 15 minutes before Washington came up with several chances in the last part of the period, including a Madison Bowey shot off the post.
The Capitals rebounded and dominated with 10 of the next 11 shots but still couldn’t get the puck past Jonathan Bernier, even coming up empty on two power plays. Bernier finished with 17 stops.
The pressure finally paid off when Wilson scored with 7:47 left in the second. Nicklas Backstrom celebrated his birthday with his 19th assist on the play.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby helped with stops on a few breakaways, including one late in the second period where he robbed Athanasiou. Holtby had 31 saves.
NOTES: F Evgeny Kuznetsov and F T.J. Oshie both were out again for the Capitals. They have missed four games in a row with upper-body injuries. … Washington coach Todd Reirden said before Friday’s game that G Pheonix Copley will likely get the start on Saturday afternoon against the Rangers in New York. … F Thomas Vanek’s assist on Athanasiou’s first-period goal was the 400th of his career. … Former Capitals D Mike Green, now with the Red Wings, reached the 800-game milestone.
Red Wings: Return home to play Buffalo for the opener of a three-game homestand.
Capitals: Head to New York for a Saturday matinee with the Rangers.