The Red Wings had an optional morning skate after sitting out on Thanksgiving. However, the Capitals were hard at work Thursday morning...
The Capitals, who are practicing on Thanksgiving, clearly hate America. pic.twitter.com/XUi4LMxzIU— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) November 22, 2018
It’s looking like the Caps will be without Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie this afternoon, which would put more emphasis on Andre Burakovsky or Jakub Vrana getting increased minutes in the top six.
Red Wings Projected Lines
Justin Abdelkader - Dylan Larkin -Anthony Mantha
Gustav Nyquist - Frans Nielsen - Andreas Athanasiou
Tyler Bertuzzi - Luke Glendening - Michael Rasmussen
Martin Frk - Jacob De La Rose - Thomas Vanek
Trevor Daley - Mike Green
Niklas Kronwall - Dennis Cholowski
Danny DeKeyser - Nick Jensen
Capitals Projected Lines
Alexander Ovechkin - Niklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly
Andre Burakovsky - Travis Boyd - Devante Smith-Pelly
Dmitrij Jaskin - Nic Dowd - Chandler Stephenson
Dmitri Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Christian Djoos - Madison Bowey
Keys to the Game
Drive the Play
The Wings have done a lot of good things in the month of November while riding this hot streak — they’ve won nine of their last 11 games — but, how long can they continue to play from behind? It seems the team is a little bit sluggish out of the gate and as a result continues to trail quite a bit heading into the third period. Sure, it was exciting to watch them come back from a two goal deficit on Wednesday night to beat the Boston Bruins in overtime, but it would also be nice to play with a lead for once.
Make it Count
If the powerplay chances present themselves, take advantage. The Wings have scored six times on the man advantage in their last 10 games and have improved to 22.4% on the year (T-12th in NHL). It’s a perfect opportunity as the Caps boast the league’s 28th ranked penalty kill at 74.4% and this Wings squad needs to hit them where it hurts the most.
Lots of Traffic
Perhaps the biggest key to any success in this game will be creating problems in front of the net for Braden Holtby. Holtby has been very good over his career against the Wings, going 9-2-2 with a 2.19 GAA, .920 SV% and a shutout in 13 meetings. Justin Abdelkader isn’t exactly a flashy forward, but his ability to pester Holtby could create scoring chances for the Wings.