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Gameday Updates: Washington Capitals at Detroit Red Wings: Line Combinations, Key Matchups

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NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Red Wings Lineup

Forwards

Tomas Tatar Henrik Zetterberg Anthony Mantha
Andreas Athanasiou Frans Nielsen Tomas Vanek
Dylan Larkin Darren Helm Justin Abdelkader
Luke Glendening Riley Sheahan Steve Ott

Defensemen

Dan DeKeyser Mike Green
Brendan Smith Xavier Ouellet
Niklas Kronwall Nick Jensen

Goaltenders

Petr Mrazek
Jared Coreau

Power Play Units

PP1 – Mantha, Nielsen, Abdelkader, Kronwall, Zetterberg

PP2 – Tatar, Helm, Vanek, Larkin, Green

Capitals Lineup

Forwards

Alex Ovechkin Nicklas Backstrom T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson Evgenvy Kuznetsov Justin Williams
Brett Connolly Lars Eller Zachary Sanford
Daniel Winnik Jay Beagle Tom Wilson

Defensemen

Karl Alzner John Carlson
Dimitri Orlov Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik Nate Schmidt

Goaltenders

Braden Holtby
Philipp Grubauer

Power Play Units

PP1 – Johnansson, Backstrom, Oshie, Ovechkin, Niskanen

PP2 – Kuznetsov, Eller, Williams, Orlov, Carlson

Keys to the Game:

Stay 5 on 5

Washington is dangerous offensively no matter what situation they are in. The Red Wings are almost comically bad on the power play. If they have any chance of being in this they have to keep this 5 on 5.

Finish Chances

Even if they can keep it 5 on 5, the Wings still have to deal with reigning Vezina Trophy winner Braden Holtby in net. He is having another Vezina like season so whatever chances the Wings do get they have got to bury because there are not going to be many.

Build for the Future

All but the staunchest of fans accepts that this team is not going to make the playoffs. Now is the time to start backing off the minutes Zetterberg, Nielsen, DeKeyser, etc. are logging and step up the minutes for Larkin, Athanasiou, Mantha, Ouellet, Jensen, Sproul, etc. Expose them to tougher competition and minutes when the pressure to win is not as great while also saving what little tread the others have left for next season.