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Red Wings at Capitals: Gameday Updates, Line Combinations, Key Match-ups

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Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Two solid changes for the Capitals. Both Karl Alzner and Marcus Johansson are expected to play tonight. Washington's lines have been updated below. No changes for the Red Wings. Lines are status-quo from the Morning Skate. According to Khan(!), Jimmy Howard is starting.

Line Combinations

Red Wings Lineup

Forwards

Dylan Larkin Henrik Zetterberg Justin Abdelkader
Brad Richards Pavel Datsyuk Darren Helm
Gus Nyquist Riley Sheahan Tomas Tatar
Joakim Andersson Luke Glendening Tomas Jurco

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Mike Green
Danny DeKeyser Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith Alexey Marchenko

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Jakub Kindl

Injuries: Kyle Quincey, Johan Franzen, Drew Miller, Teemu Pulkkinen

Power-play units:

  1. Larkin-Zetterberg-Nyquist, Abdelkader (net front), Kronwall
  1. Tatar-Datsyuk-Sheahan (net front), Richards-Green

Capitals Lineup

Forwards

Alex Ovechkin Nicklas Backstrom T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson Evgeny Kuznetsov Justin Williams
Jason Chimera Jay Beagle Tom WIlson
Brooks Laich Michael Latta Andre Burakovsky

Defensemen

Nate Schmidt John Carlson
Karl Alzner Matt Niskanen
Dmitri Orlov Taylor Chorney

Goaltenders

Braden Holtby
Philipp Grubauer

Fun Facts!

Red Wings all-time record against Washington: 48-42-16-3

Red Wings goals for per game (GF/G) against the Caps: 3.21

Red Wings goals against per game (GA/G) against the Caps: 3.25

Key Match-ups

Nyquist/Sheahan/Tatar vs Whomever is stuck trying to stop them

One of the best parts of the Wings current 10 game point streak has been the play of the "Kid" Line. Nyquist, Sheahan and Tatar have done a real nice job taking advantage of their matchups as the Wings 3rd line. The trio is driving possession and putting up points. During the streak, Nyquist has 9 points (4G, 5A) and Tatar has 10 (6G, 4A). Granted, not all those points came at even strength, but this line is taking advantage of the matchups 5v5 and as long as that continues, the Wings should continue to find success.

Capitals Power Play vs Red Wings Penalty Kill

We talked about what the absence of Drew Miller means for the Red Wings PK on our podcast last night. You can listen here. He, despite what the Wings diggers tell you, isn't the sole reason the Wings PK has done well this season. But there's no denying that the PK could use a bounce back performance after giving up three power play goals to the Predators. The fun news in all of this is that the Capitals have the NHL's 2nd best power play. So unless the Wings plan to score eight goals or take zero penalties, they should plan on shoring up the PK tonight.