Ovechkin's first goal came at the 7:48 mark of the first period after Niklas Kronwall was sent to the penalty box for high-sticking the Capitals captain. After some nifty stick-handling by Marcus Johansson, Ovechkin came screaming down the slot to receive Johansson's centering pass and fire a shot past Jimmy Howard.
Mike Knuble doubled the Capitals' advantage at the 11:25 mark when he redirected a centering pass from Jason Chimera past Howard. Ovechkin made the score 3-0 at 14:51 when he picked up a defensive rebound of a missed Brooks Laich shot and finished past Howard, who had wandered out of his cage.
The Red Wings had a chance to get back in the game with the score still 2-0, but a would-be goal was washed out by an goaltender interference penalty on Tomas Holmstrom.