Morning Skate: Capitals at Red Wings Preview

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Game 54

7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Caps Blog: Japers' RInk

This is going to be a fun back-to-back with the Captials. At this point, we don't know which Red Wings we'll see on the ice. They could be good. They could be bad. How's that for some deep analysis? If Jimmy Howard picks up right where he left off before the knee injury, the Wings will have a shot. Washington has been struggling lately, so I'm sure they'll find their game tonight. Hopefully the Wings find their game too.

The good news is that Henrik Zetterberg is expected to return from his maintenance week. Hope he's feeling better. Slowly but surely this team is getting players back. And slowly the roster crunch is going to get them too, but who cares right now? It's Friday. Have a ginger ale tonight and just enjoy some freakin' hockey.

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Gustav Nyquist Henrik Zetterberg Justin Abdelkader
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Tomas Jurco
Joakim Andersson Darren Helm Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller Luke Glendening Patrick Eaves

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey Danny DeKeyser
Brian Lashoff Brendan Smith

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard
Jonas Gustavsson

Scratches: Jakub Kindl, Todd Bertuzzi & Daniel Cleary (NOTE: these are not official)

Injuries: Johan Franzen (concussion), Pavel Datsyuk groin), Cory Emmerton (finger)

LTIR: Stephen Weiss (groin)

CAPITALS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
24-22-8 (56 pts; 7th in Metro) Record 23-19-11 (57 pts; 6th in Atlantic)
2.72 (15th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.49 (21st in NHL)
2.91 (22nd) Goals Against Per Game 2.66 (14th)
22.0% (5th) Power Play % 16.2% (22nd)
80.7% (18th) Penalty Kill % 84.0% (6th)
Alex Ovechkin (38 goals) Goal Leader Henrik Zetterberg (16 goals)
Alex Ovechkin (55 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (44 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Easy. Alexander the Great.

X-Factor: I'm sure it will be Mikhail Grabovski (the center JJ and I wanted instead of Weiss)

Familiar Faces: None.

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Washington): America.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Washington): Politics.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 45-40-16-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Caps.

  • Last 10 games: Washington 2-6-2. Detroit 4-5-1.

  • Howard is 1-1-1 with a 2.93 GAA, .890 SV% in 3 career games against Washington.

Prediction: Filibuster.

Let's Go Red Wings.
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