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At the Rink: Capitals at Red Wings

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin will once again try to break Sergei Fedorov's record for goals by a Russian-born player against Fedorov's longtime team, the Detroit Red Wings.

The Capitals (11-4-1) play the Red Wings (9-8-1) on Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, TVA Sports).

Ovechkin and Fedorov are tied with 483 goals, just as they were when Ovechkin tied a career-high with 15 shots in Washington's 1-0 loss against Detroit at Joe Louis Arena Nov. 10. Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek made 38 saves in the shutout.

"He was good," Ovechkin said. "Sometimes you have those kind of nights when you don't score goals."

Mrazek will be in goal again Wednesday for the Red Wings.

"Good challenge," Mrazek said. "Last game we played was a good game. They have a good power play with Ovechkin on the point, so we have to be aware of that and be ready for that.

"You have to be big in the net, be ready and hope he's going to hit you sometimes when you don't see the puck."

Ovechkin doesn't have a point in his past three games.

"He's going to get his opportunities for sure," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "You hope to limit him as much as you can. The best way against anybody is to make it real hard on them. We talk about making the opponent earn every inch of ice, so we have to make sure that our gaps are great, that we're not giving him much space. He's one of those guys who can shoot it from everywhere, and he gets it off quick.”

Capitals Barry Trotz has reunited Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom on the top line.

"It's all good. We have chemistry and it shouldn't be a problem," Ovechkin said.

Trotz said, "It will be interesting to see how they work together. They haven't played together at all this year."

These are the projected lineups:


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Andre Burakovsky

Jason Chimera - Jay Beagle - Justin Williams

Brooks Laich - Michael Latta - Tom Wilson

Nate Schmidt - John Carlson

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov - Taylor Chorney

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Stanislav Galiev

Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body)


Justin Abdelkader - Henrik Zetterberg - Gustav Nyquist

Tomas Tatar - Pavel Datsyuk - Dylan Larkin

Drew Miller - Andreas Athanasiou - Teemu Pulkkinen

Darren Helm - Luke Glendening - Riley Sheahan

Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green

Danny DeKeyser - Jonathan Ericsson

Jakub Kindl - Alexey Marchenko

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Scratched: Joakim Andersson, Brendan Smith.

Injured: Johan Franzen (concussion), Brad Richards (back), Kyle Quincey (ankle), Landon Ferraro (knee)

Status update: Orpik will miss a third straight game since being injured against the Red Wings in Washington. Trotz said Orpik could return Thursday against the Dallas Stars. … Smith practiced Wednesday after missing most of last week with an illness.

Who's hot: Beagle has a goal and an assist in his past two games. … Abdelkader has a goal and an assist in his past two games after going 14 games without a point. Green has three assists in his past two games.

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