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Capitals aim to clinch playoff berth at Red Wings

by Paul Harris /

CAPITALS (43-25-11) at RED WINGS (41-24-13)


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 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 "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

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

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.

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