With the Red Wings trailing 2-1, Abdelkader knocked the puck off Washington defender Andre Burakovsky’s stick in the slot, then snapped a shot past goalie Braden Holtby, tying things up at 4:04 of the final frame.
Abdelkader would make it 3-2 with 9:26 left in regulation. Datsyuk gained the Capitals’ zone alone and drew four defenders to him, then dropped the puck off to a rushing Abdelkader for a one-timer from the top of the right faceoff circle past Holtby.
Datsyuk would thread a shot through traffic and by Holtby from the right wing in the game’s closing minute, a power play goal.
The Capitals thought they had pulled to within one in the final seconds but the goal was waived off for goalie interference.
Similarly, the Red Wings thought they had opened the game’s scoring early in the first period when they had a goal called back for goalie interference on Luke Glendening. Video review showed, however, that Holtby fell on his own.
The first goal of the game that counted came at 8:56 of the second. Marcus Johansson overskated the puck attempting to clear his own zone and Abdelkader pounced on it, working it on to Gustav Nyquist all alone in front of Holtby. Holtby made the initial save but Nyquist batted his own rebound out of the air and into the net.
With 6:41 remaining in the second the Capitals took advantage of a bad line change by the Red Wings. Holtby sent a long pass to Joel Ward who sprung Evgeny Kuznetsov in all alone to beat Detroit netminder Jimmy Howard and make it 1-1.
Troy Brouwer put the Caps out in front with 58 seconds left in the period, putting a one-timer past Howard from the right faceoff circle off a cross-crease feed from John Carlson just as a power play expired.
Each team scored a goal with the extra attacker on the night. Detroit had four tries with the man-advantage while Washington had six.
Howard made 25 saves on 27 shots against. Holtby stopped 18 of the 22 chances he faced.
The Red Wings will be back in action on Friday when they host the Los Angeles Kings.
Johan Franzen remained on injured reserve for the Red Wings… Detroit’s healthy scratches were Brian Lashoff, Daniel Cleary, and Stephen Weiss. Weiss is currently assigned to the Grand Rapids Griffins on a conditioning stint and appeared to injure his groin in a 2-1 loss to the Rockford Ice Hogs.