WASHINGTON -- Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock didn't like the way his team started. He certainly didn't like the way things ended.
The Wings lost, 6-5, on Sunday at the Verizon Center after Washington Capitals star Alex Ovechkin scored on a power play at 2:37 of overtime. It was the third power-play goal of the game for the Capitals.
The Red Wings battled back from deficits of 2-0, 3-1 and 4-2 before forcing overtime.
Ovechkin scored his league-leading 39th goal and 15th power-play goal of the season to finish off the Wings.
"The 4-on-3 one, you hate to take a penalty in overtime," Babcock said. "Everyone knows where the puck's going."
Wings defenseman Brendan Smith took a tripping penalty 1:26 into the extra session.
"You can call it cheap or whatever you want," Babcock said. "No reason to take that penalty."
The loss overshadowed a four-point effort and the first career hat trick by Wings forward Gustav Nyquist.
"The puck's finding me, I guess," Nyquist said before quickly crediting linemates Henrik Zetterberg (three assists) and Justin Abdelkader (goal) for their contributions.
Battling back was good, but Wings captain Zetterberg said of the overtime loss: "Obviously, it's frustrating. We worked ourselves into that game. Offensively we played really well. Some mistakes cost us a few goals, and obviously (the Capitals) are good when they get the power play."
Tomas Tatar had a goal and an assist, and Niklas Kronwall had two assists.
"Good point for our team from the way we started," Babcock said. "I thought we battled real hard. We had so many opportunities at their net it wasn't even funny."
The Red Wings fell behind, 2-0, in the first period before battling back to force overtime.
Joel Ward assisted on Jason Chimera's goal at 4:43 of the first period, then added a power-play goal at 7:20.
Nyquist scored a power-play goal at 11:40, but the Capitals regained the two-goal edge on John Carlson's one-timer from the slot on a power play at 16:05 of the first period.
Tatar brought the Wings within a goal at 13:30 of the second period, but Ward scored his second of the game 19 seconds later to put the Capitals back on top, 4-2.
Nyquist netted the next two goals, each with assists from Zetterberg.
Nyquist tipped in a goal off a Zetterberg pass during a power play at 18:49 of the second period.
Nyquist's third goal came 42 seconds into the third period, tying the game at 4. Zetterberg skated through the neutral zone and into the offensive zone before faking a shot and passing to Nyquist, who scored his 13th goal of the season and eighth in the past seven games.
A turnover by Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson led to Troy Brouwer's goal at 4:28 of the third period.
Nyquist and Zetterberg assisted on Justin Abdelkader's goal at 6:25, which tied the game at 5. Abdelkader scored on a backhand for his sixth goal of the season.
Ovechkin called the game "a great battle."
"I think both teams deserved to win, but how we start the game, how we continue to push through when they have moments ... it's a big two points for us"
(c)2014 Detroit Free Press
Visit the Detroit Free Press at www.freep.com
Distributed by MCT Information Services