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

Detroit Red Wings v Washington Capitals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Sproul draws into the lineup over Ouellet after sitting since January 10th. That's the only change other than Mrazek getting the nod in net over Coreau tonight. LGRW!

The Expected Lineup

Powerplay Units

  1. Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader, Smith, Mantha
  2. Tatar-Helm-Vanek, Larkin, Green

Washington's Lineup

Washington's Powerplay Units

  1. Johansson-Backstrom-Oshie, Ovechkin, Niskanen
  2. Burakovsky-Kuznetsov-Williams, Orlov-Carlson

Keys to the Game

Three-headed monster

The Capitals boast one of the deepest top-9 forward units in the league. They have 10 forwards with 10 or more goals so far this year, including Ovechkin who’s on pace for another 35-40 goal season. TJ Oshie has 20 goals and is having a career year. Even guys like Brett Connolly, Lars Eller and Jay Beagle are on pace for 20 goal seasons. If the Wings manage to contain some of the Caps’ best, they have another four or five guys behind them who can chip in with some goals.

Brick wall in net

Braden Holtby’s in the middle of another fantastic season. Of all NHL starting goalies, only Devan Dubnyk has a higher Save Percentage and Goals Saved Above Average this year. The Caps as a team are only giving up a little more than 2 goals per game, the Wings are only scoring 2.5 per game. It’s no wonder they’re one of the league’s best. I have a feeling that finding twine will be no easy task tonight. We need our best to be up to the task.

Play the full 60 minutes

It seems like the Wings have games where they start on time and then fade out during the 3rd or they’ll forget to show up for puck drop and finish strong. To beat the Capitals, the Wings have to limit their mistakes. If they give Washington anything easy, I’m sure they’ll take advantage. Come out strong, don’t fade as the games wears on. It’s going to be tiring out there with these guys, they come after you in waves. But the boys have to match them every step of the way if they’re going to have any chance of winning tonight.