RED WINGS (8-8-1) at CAPITALS (10-4-2)
7 p.m. ET; FS-D+, CSN-DC, NHL.TV
Red Wings team scope
Goaltender Jimmy Howard will start for the Detroit Red Wings for the fifth time in six games. Howard allowed five goals in his most recent start, a 5-0 loss to the Montreal Canadiens last Saturday, after allowing eight goals in his previous seven games. The Red Wings are 2-6-1 in their past nine games after beginning the season 6-2-0. "We know we have to win games to get back into the race here," captain Henrik Zetterberg told MLive.com on Thursday. "It's still early, but we don't want to drop back too far."
Capitals team scope
Goaltender Braden Holtby will start for the Washington Capitals in the second game of a five-game homestand. Holtby made 25 saves in a 7-1 win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday and is 6-2-0 against the Red Wings in his career. Washington scored power-play goals on a 5-on-3 and a 4-on-3 against Pittsburgh but has not scored a 5-on-4 goal since Oct. 29 at the Vancouver Canucks. Prior to Wednesday, the Capitals were 1-for-19 on the power play in their previous seven games. Coach Barry Trotz swapped defensemen Matt Niskanen and John Carlson on the first and second power-play units in hopes of sparking the offense. "The big thing is they start getting confidence on the power play," Trotz said. "It doesn't matter; 5-on-3, 4-on-3. We start feeling it a bit and hopefully that's all you need. The power play in a lot of ways has been fine, but the end result they haven't gotten."
Red Wings projected lineup
Justin Abdelkader -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Gustav Nyquist
Luke Glendening -- Frans Nielsen -- Dylan Larkin
Tomas Tatar -- Riley Sheahan -- Anthony Mantha
Tyler Bertuzzi -- Steve Ott -- Drew Miller
Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson -- Alexey Marchenko
Niklas Kronwall -- Ryan Sproul
Scratched: Xavier Ouellet, Brendan Smith
Injured: Tomas Jurco (back), Thomas Vanek (middle body), Andreas Athanasiou (lower body)
Capitals projected lineup
Marcus Johansson -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie
Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Andre Burakovsky
Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Justin Williams
Zach Sanford -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner -- Matt Niskanen
Dmitry Orlov -- John Carlson
Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt
Scratched: Daniel Winnik, Taylor Chorney
Zetterberg, Abdelkader and Nielsen were not on the ice for the optional morning skate; however, coach Jeff Blashill said everyone who played in the previous game, a 4-3 home loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, would be available against the Capitals. Jurco and Vanek skated but will not play. Blashill said Jurco needs one more week of practices before going to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League for conditioning and coming back to Detroit. ... Williams did not participate in the morning skate because of a family matter, but is expected to play.
Sproul had a goal and an assist against the Lightning on Tuesday. ... Backstrom has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past two games.Orpik has two assists in two games after having one assist through his previous nine games.