WASHINGTON – Mike Green had two goals and two assists, Matthieu Perreault added two goals, and the Washington Capitals routed the Detroit Red Wings 7-1 on Saturday night in a matchup of the NHL's last remaining unbeaten teams.
It was only the second time in NHL history that two teams with records of at least 5-0 had faced off. The other occurred Oct. 23, 1986, when the 7-0 Pittsburgh Penguins lost to the 5-0 Flyers in Philadelphia.
Niklas Kronwall had the lone goal for Detroit, which was trying to open 6-0 for the first time since the 1972-73 season. Red Wings defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom had an assist as he played in his 1,500th career game. He is the 14th NHL player to reach that milestone.
Tomas Voukon made 32 saves for his sixth straight victory.
The seven goals allowed were a season high for the Red Wings, and three more than they had surrendered in the previous four games combined.
A boarding penalty to Todd Bertuzzi set up Green's power-play goal that gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 6 minutes in. Green cut through the right circle and flicked a cross-ice feed from Backstrom past goalie Ty Conklin.
Just 61 seconds later, Johansson made it 2-0 by beating Conklin at the left post for his fourth goal.
Green struck again on the man advantage 4:49 into the second period, with Cory Emmerton off for high sticking. Green drifted to the top of the right circle and swept in a feed from Ovechkin to make it 3-0.
Detroit used most of a 31-second, two-man advantage — draining it to five seconds remaining — and ruined Voukon's shutout bid on Kronwall's goal midway through the second. Kronwall knocked in Pavel Datsyuk's pass from the top of the left circle for his first goal of the season.
Another pair of ill-timed penalties put Washington at a two-man disadvantage for 35 seconds later in the period, but the Capitals killed off both to prevent the Red Wings from getting within a goal.
With 7.6 seconds left in the period, Hendricks' shot dribbled through Conklin, and Perreault tapped in the loose puck for a 4-1 lead.
Ward sneaked behind Kronwall for an easy right-post tap-in of Brooks Laich's pass 8:17 into the third. Perreault converted from the doorstep off a faceoff at 11:19, and Backstrom capped the scoring with 2:39 left.
Notes: The last NHL club to open a season with seven straight victories was the 1994-95 Penguins. ... Lidstrom is the fourth Red Wings player to reach 1,500 games, joining Gordie Howe (1,687), Alex Delvecchio (1,549) and Steve Yzerman (1,514). ... Washington scratched G Michal Neuvirth (bruised right foot) and C Jay Beagle (unknown injury). ... It was the 100th meeting between the teams, and Detroit holds a 43-39-16-2 edge in the series. ... The Capitals, who were outshot 33-25, have won four games this season in which they were outshot.