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Preview: Capitals at Red Wings

Braden Holtby could win 15th straight decision for Washington; Detroit has lost five in a row

by Dave Hogg / Correspondent

CAPITALS (39-11-6) at RED WINGS (22-25-10)



Capitals team scope

Goalie Braden Holtby could win his 15th straight decision, which would be the second-longest streak in NHL history, two behind the record set by Gilles Gilbert with the Boston Bruins in 1975-76. Holtby is 14-0-0 in his past 16 starts. Before a six-day break, the Washington Capitals were on a six-game winning streak and 26-4-3 in their past 33 games. They haven't played since a 6-4 win against the Anaheim Ducks on Feb. 11. "We'll see how we come out of the break," Capitals forward Justin Williams said after practice Friday. "There is no pregame skate, so this is it. We've got back-to-back afternoon games, we've got one skate after five days off and we play." The Capitals defeated the Red Wings 6-3 on Feb. 9 in the fifth game of their winning streak. The Capitals obtained defenseman Tom Gilbert, 34, from the Los Angeles Kings in a trade for future considerations. Gilbert, who has played 11 NHL seasons, was sent to Hershey of the American Hockey League. "It's a really good move for us; it gives us some depth," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "He has played in some playoff games, he has played against good competition, he is a veteran guy, he's got some offensive talent."


Red Wings team scope 

The Detroit Red Wings will try to end a five-game losing streak (0-4-1). They are nine points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and 10 behind the Boston Bruins for third place in the Atlantic Division. Detroit lost to the St. Louis Blues 2-0 on Wednesday. "It's been a tough season, not just for me," said Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg, who has never missed the playoffs in 13 seasons with Detroit. "It's hard to go through this. We've had some tough seasons lately, making the playoffs in the last couple games, but we've never been this far back." The Red Wings play six of their next seven games on the road, starting Sunday against the Pittsburgh Penguins.


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Zach Sanford

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Jakub Vrana

Injured: Andre Burakovsky (hand)


Red Wings projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Anthony Mantha

Andreas Athanasiou -- Frans Nielsen -- Thomas Vanek

Justin Abdelkader -- Darren Helm -- Dylan Larkin

Riley Sheahan -- Luke Glendening -- Steve Ott

Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green

Brendan Smith -- Xavier Ouellet

Nick Jensen -- Niklas Kronwall

Petr Mrazek

Jared Coreau

Scratched: Tomas Jurco, Ryan Sproul

Suspended: Gustav Nyquist

Injured: Jimmy Howard (knee), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist)


Status report

The Red Wings changed line combinations in the third period Wednesday, moving Larkin to the first line and dropping Mantha.


Who's hot

Washington is 7-2-1 in its past 10 road games. … Backstrom has four goals and nine assists in a seven-game point streak. … Ovechkin has 21 points (eight goals, 13 assists) in his past 17 games. … Zetterberg has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past 10 games.

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