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Gostisbehere scores 2, surging Red Wings rout Capitals 8-3 for 1st 6-game winning streak since 2019

DETROIT (AP) — The Detroit Red Wings are restoring a roar in the Motor City.

Shayne Gostisbehere scored in each of the first two periods and Detroit routed the Washington Capitals 8-3 on Tuesday night, for its first six-game winning streak in nearly five years with the franchise's first eight-goal game since 2017.

“Right from the start, you could see the talent through their lineup and through their roster and the plays they make," Capitals coach Spencer Carbery said. "With the finish they had, it was on full display.”

“They’re as good as any team in the National Hockey League.”

Lucas Raymond also had a goal in the first, giving Detroit a 2-0 lead after one. Joe Veleno scored and J.T. Compher had a short-handed goal in the second period to put the Red Wings ahead 5-2.

Detroit didn't let up with Robby Fabbri, Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Larkin scoring in the third.

Alex Lyon finished with 18 saves for the Red Wings, whose last six-game run was from March 23, 2019, to April 2 of that year — one of seven straight seasons to end without a playoff game. They hadn't scored eight goals in a game since Nov. 15, 2017.

“We’ve got some work to do some areas, but it’s very encouraging,” general manager Steve Yzerman said in an interview with The Associated Press after his team’s latest win. “We’re getting stronger as the season goes on.”

Detroit leads the Eastern Conference's wild-card standings and the franchise's fans, which included Lions defensive end Aidan Hutchinson, are clearly fired up about the team's chances to make the playoffs for the first time since 2016.

“All these games matter, but especially against teams that are right behind us,” Veleno said. “That kind of gives us an extra chip on our shoulders when they come in here to play. It definitely feels a lot better to be in these positions”

The Capitals, who trail the top two teams in the wild-card standings, are hoping to close the season strong enough to avoid missing the playoffs in two straight seasons for the first time since a three-postseason drought that began in 2004 — a season before Alex Ovechkin started his spectacular career.

Hendrix Lapierre scored early in the second to pull Washington within one and Michael Sgarbossa made it 4-2 later in the period. Max Pacioretty cut the deficit to three goals midway through the third.

Charlie Lindgren stopped 23 shots for the Capitals, who had won four of their last five games to gain some ground on Philadelphia for the Metropolitan Division's third guaranteed playoff spot.

Washington was also missing regulars T.J. Oshie, Nic Dowd and Nick Jensen to injury and Sonny Milano to illness.

The Red Wings were in control for much of the night, looking like they were on the power play during even-strength situations and even scoring a goal when they were killing a penalty. They peppered Lindgren with 12 shots in the first period and 11 more in the second while giving up a total of 11 shots, entering the third.

“We’re not going to just flush it,” Carbery said. “There’s a lot of structure things that we need to get cleaned up. We’ve played well. That game was a one-off for our group.”

UP NEXT

Capitals: Host the Flyers on Friday night.

Red Wings: Host the New York Islanders, shooting for their first seven-game winning streak since January, 2012, on Thursday night.

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AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/nhl

Larry Lage, The Associated Press