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Morning Skate: Clash of the Titans

Two teams enter, one team leaves.

The 5-0-0 Detroit Red Wings travel to the Washington D.C. to take on the 6-0-0 Capitals.  

There is a long, long way to go in the season, but it sure would be nice to make a statement in the nation's capital tonight.  The Wings have flown under everyone's radar in the offseason and the preseason.  Very few of the "experts" chose Detroit as their Cup favorite.  It was Chicago this, Washington's San Jose's year or the Canucks will be back.  Of course, we all know Detroit won't go 82-0-0 this season, but it sure would be nice to strike the fear in the rest of the league as they collectively say "oh crap, the Red Wings are going to be a strong force....AGAIN."

There have been times of struggle the last two seasons.  It's time to get back to the machine that this team was in 2007-08.  Tonight is just another step in the process...another step towards number 12...another step towards five for #5.  The quest continues in D.C.


Japers' Rink is your SBNation Capitals' blog.

Puck drop is just after 7p ET


The Expected Lineup


Henrik Zetterberg -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Danny Cleary

Jiri Hudler -- Valtteri Filppula -- Johan Franzen

Justin Abdelkader -- Darren Helm -- Todd Bertuzzi

Patrick Eaves -- Cory Emmerton -- Fabian Brunnstrom


Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jakub Kindl -- Jonathan Ericsson


Ty Conklin (starting)

Jimmy Howard


Scratches:  We know Tomas Holmstrom will be a healthy scratch tonight.  Uncle Mike has said he is going to sit Homer for one of the nights when the Wings play back-to-back.  My guess is Andrew Miller (Dear SBNation...his name is Drew, damnit.) is the second scratch and Eaves sees some action.  Toss in Brunnstrom in his debut and the fourth line could add a nice scoring punch.  

Injuries:  Mike Commodore (knee) and Jan Mursak (ankle)


5-0-0 Record 6-0-0
3.60 (2nd) Goals Per Game 3.67 (1st)
1.40 (1st) Goals Against Per Game 2.17 (T-10th)
16.7% (15th) Power Play % 26.1% (3rd)
80.0% (24th) Penalty Kill % 83.3% (T-15th)
Franzen (4 goals) Goal Leader Chimera (4 goals)
2 tied with 7 points Points Leader Backstrom (8 points)



  • The Red Wings are 46-38-16-0 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Capitals.
  • Nicklas Lidstrom will become the 4th Red Wings player to play in his 1,500th game.
  • Since beginning the season 0-for-18 on the power play, the Wings have gone 4-for-6 with the man advantage.
  • A win tonight would match the best start in Detroit's franchise history.  As I mentioned in yesterday's morning skate, the Wings started 6-0-0 in the 1972-73 season.
  • Detroit hasn't won in Washington since winning 4-3 on December 9, 2005.
  • One of our anchors at NESN is a big Capitals fan.  The loser of this game will have to buy the winner a Slurpee, a you pick two meal from Panera Bread, and will have to change their twitter picture to the opposing teams logo for a week.  So let's hope the Wings win so I don't have to sport a Caps logo for the next week.


Prediction:  Party like it's 1998.  Wings win and become the lone undefeated team in the NHL.  A close contest in which Detroit wins 3-2.  Pavel Datsyuk is your player of the game.


Let's Go Red Wings.