Morning Skate: Red Wings at Capitals

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Game 55

12:30p ET, Verizon Center

Washington, DC

TV: NBC, NHLN-CA

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Caps Blog: Japers' RInk

Hey howdy hi! The Wings are ready to take on the Capitals for the 3rd and final time this season. Both of the first two games went to a shootout. I'd rather not make it a hat trick of shootouts. But hey, at least we have shootout guru Patrick Eaves, just in case. There are only 26 regular season games left after today and 3 more games before the Olympic break. The Wings currently sit 2 spots out of the final wild card spot in the East. How tight is the playoff race? There are currently 5 teams who are 3 points or fewer away from being a wild card team, and two of those teams are the Wings and Capitals.

After having one of the best road records in the NHL for most of the season, the Wings have gone 182:34 without scoring a goal on the road. The last road goal we scored was by Danny Cleary on January 11th in LA. How depressing is that? I expect that to end tonight. I don't care who scores (though Glendening finally getting his first NHL goal would be the bees knees), I just want us to score often and win in regulation. I heard there is some kind of giant supper bowl shindig happening today, but it must not be that important because the Red Wings come first.

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
Jakub Kindl Brendan Smith

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard
Jonas Gustavsson

Scratches: Brian Lashoff, Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Cleary & Cory Emmerton (on waivers)

Injuries: Johan Franzen (concussion), Pavel Datsyuk groin),

LTIR: Stephen Weiss (groin)

RED WINGS THE MATCH-UP CAPITALS
24-19-11 (59 pts; 5th in Atlantic) Record 24-22-9 (57 pts; 7th in Metro)
2.50 (21st in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.73 (15th in NHL)
2.67 (15th) Goals Against Per Game 2.91 (22nd)
15.8% (22nd) Power Play % 22.3% (5th)
83.7% (9th) Penalty Kill % 81.2% (16th)
Henrik Zetterberg (16 goals) Goal Leader Alex Ovechkin (38 goals)
Henrik Zetterberg (44 points) Points Leader Alex Ovechkin (57 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Alexander Oven Chicken Ovechkin

X-Factor: I'll go with Joel Ward, just so I can disagree with Jeff.

Familiar Faces: Noooope

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Washington): They gave a poor moose a job.

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

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 46-40-16-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Caps.

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

  • Howard is 2-1-1 with a 2.89 GAA, .892 SV% in 4 career games against Washington.

Prediction: James Tiberius Howard happens.

Let's Go Red Wings!!!
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