With the win, the Capitals extended their home winning streak to 11 games. This was also the third straight game in which the Capitals scored at least five goals en route to victory.
Washington did strike first about five minutes into the opening frame. Evgeny Kuznetsov sent a centering feed to an open Marcus Johansson, who fired the puck past Petr Mrazek and picked up his 18th goal of the season.
However, near the end of the first period, the Red Wings picked up the pressure and finally broke through Braden Holtby. Andreas Athanasiou broke a five-game scoreless drought. Athanasiou faked his way into the slot and then shot a quick wrister past Holtby to tie the game at one with about seven minutes to go.
The 22-year-old scored his second of the night about three minutes later and helped Detroit’s struggling power play find twine. After picking up the puck from Thomas Vanek in the circle, Athanasiou sniped his 13th of the season to give Detroit a 2-1 lead with about four minutes remaining in the first.
With 90 seconds to go in the opening period, the Capitals started generating pressure in the zone. Brett Connolly was checked hard and was slow to get up, but managed to get his stick on a tough-angle rebound and score his 14th goal of the season. He now has goals in three straight games, and points in five straight matchups.
Washington and Detroit would go into the second period tied, but Washington led in shots, 13-6, after 20 minutes of play.
The Caps came into the second period ready to score, and T.J. Oshie kicked things off a little over a minute into the second frame. He made a nice move in the right circle and then fired the puck past Mrazek for his 21st of the season, giving the Capitals a 3-2 lead.
Holtby stopped all six shots he faced in the second, and Mrazek, despite surrendering an early second-period goal, stopped 11 of 12 he faced and made some pretty acrobatic saves.
About a minute into the third, Henrik Zetterberg stepped up and tied the game at three. He sped into the zone and managed to get in the slot, where he then scored on a nifty backhander from a tough angle to even the score.
However, the score wouldn’t stay tied for long. John Carlson rifled a heavy slapshot from the point to give Washington a 4-3 lead about three minutes later. From there, the Capitals seemed to be back to their high-scoring ways.
With around five minutes remaining in regulation time, the Capitals went on their first power play of the game. T.J. Oshie scored his second of the night on a quick one-timer to put Washington up 5-3.
Nicklas Backstrom added an empty-net tally with a little over a minute left to put the Capitals up 6-3. He also managed yet another multi-point game. Holtby made five more saves in the third but ultimately surrendered three goals on just 17 shots faced.
Anaheim Ducks at Washington Capitals
Verizon Center, 7:00 p.m. EST on Feb. 11
Broadcast Channels: CSNMA, FSW
Detroit Red Wings at Columbus Blue Jackets
Nationwide Arena, 5:00 p.m. EST on Feb. 11
Broadcast Channels: FSDT, FSOH
Sammi Silber covers the Capitals beat for The Hockey Writers and is an NHL contributor with Sporting News. She has also contributed to USA TODAY College, Huffington Post, FanSided and the Nation Network. Silber has written four books and recently worked on graphics for the film, The California Golden Seals Movie.