CAPITALS (43-25-11) at RED WINGS (41-24-13)
TV: NHLN-US, TVA Sports, SN, CSN-DC
DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals, who play Sunday at Joe Louis Arena (5 p.m. ET: NHLN-US, CSN-DC, FS-D), are coming off games in which they had to go beyond 60 minutes but had opposite results.
Washington rallied from a three-goal deficit to tie the Ottawa Senators and force overtime before losing on Kyle Turris' goal. The Capitals (41-24-13) are third place in the Metropolitan Division, one point behind the New York Islanders, and can clinch a Stanley Cup Playoffs berth with a win and an Ottawa Senators loss, or if they earn a point and the Senators lose in regulation.
"We're playing a team that's in sort of the same spot we are, both trying to solidify a playoff spot [and] solidify going up in the standings too," Capitals coach Barry Trotz told Monumental Network. "Those are two things that we're looking at. We just need to win a hockey game and gain some points every night."
Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader will not play, general manager Ken Holland told MLive.com. Abdelkader blocked a shot with his hand late in a 3-2 shootout win against the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. The victory ended a three-game losing streak for the Red Wings (43-26-11). The shootout went eight rounds and was decided when video review ruled that Darren Helm's shot was actually in the net when Minnesota goalie Devan Dubnyk kicked it out.
Goalie Jimmy Howard, who with Petr Mrazek has been inconsistent recently, started and earned his second shootout win this season.
"This was a statement," Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg told MLive.com. "We played a solid game again. There were not a lot of chances both ways. It's a big two points.
"[Howard] comes in and plays unbelievable. I don't know how many saves he had in the shootout, but he was pretty stellar."
The Red Wings are tied with the Boston Bruins for third in the Atlantic Division and have played one fewer game.
Here are the projected lineups:
Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Joel Ward
Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - Troy Brouwer
Curtis Glencross - Eric Fehr - Jason Chimera
Brooks Laich - Michael Latta - Tom Wilson
Brooks Orpik - John Carlson
Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen
Tim Gleason - Mike Green
Braden Holtby - Justin Peters
Scratched: Andre Burakovsky
Injured: Dmitry Orlov (wrist), Jay Beagle (shoulder), John Erskine (neck surgery)
Daniel Cleary - Henrik Zetterberg - Gustav Nyquist
Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Tomas Tatar
Teemu Pulkkinen - Riley Sheahan - Stephen Weiss
Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Joakim Andersson
Jonathan Ericsson - Niklas Kronwall
Kyle Quincey - Danny DeKeyser
Brendan Smith - Marek Zidlicky
Scratched: Jakub Kindl
Injured: Erik Cole (upper body), Tomas Jurco (upper body), Johan Franzen (concussion), Jonas Gustavsson (concussion), Justin Abdelkader (hand)
Status report: The Capitals recalled Burakovsky from Hershey of the American Hockey League. ... Babcock decided Mrazek would start before the game in Minnesota on Saturday.
Who's hot: Brouwer had a goal and an assist Saturday against Ottawa. … Nyquist has four goals and an assist in his past seven games. DeKeyser has six assists in his past five games.