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Capitals at Red Wings preview

Washington line juggling sees Wilson move up; Detroit aims to end two-game losing streak

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

CAPITALS (3-3-1) at RED WINGS (4-3-0)

7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSWA+, FS-D, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Washington Capitals will have a different look to their forward lines when they play the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Friday.

With the Capitals 1-3-1 in their past five games, coach Barry Trotz switched things around at the morning skate Thursday. Among the moves was Tom Wilson moving from the third line to left wing on the first line alongside center Nicklas Backstrom and right wing T.J. Oshie.

The Red Wings have lost two straight after a 4-1-0 start. They've allowed nine goals in their past two games.

 

Players to watch

Backstrom has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in his past six games, with six points (one goal, five assists) coming on the power play.

Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past five games. The 37-year-old is the only Red Wings forward playing more than 20 minutes per game (20:48).

 

They said it

"The word is awkward. It's very awkward to be passing all these coaches that I look up to and respect so much." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz, who will coach his 1,450th game Friday, moving him past Dick Irvin for sixth on the NHL career list.

"He's a threat to score from anywhere on the ice, so you always have to know exactly where he is." -- Red Wings defenseman Mike Green on his former teammate, Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with nine goals.

 

Capitals projected lineup

Tom Wilson -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Jakub Vrana

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Andre Burakovsky

Alex Chiasson -- Jay Beagle -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Dmitry Orlov -- Taylor Chorney

Christian Djoos -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Nathan Walker, Aaron Ness

Injured: Matt Niskanen (upper body), Tyler Graovac (upper body)

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Anthony Mantha -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Gustav Nyquist

Justin Abdelkader -- Dylan Larkin -- Tomas Tatar

Darren Helm -- Frans Nielsen -- Martin Frk

Luke Witkowski -- Riley Sheahan -- Luke Glendening

Jonathan Ericsson -- Trevor Daley

Niklas Kronwall -- Mike Green

Xavier Ouellet -- Nick Jensen

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Scratched: David Booth

Injured: Tyler Bertuzzi (wrist), Danny DeKeyser (lower body)

 

Status report

Eller will be back in the lineup after missing a 2-0 loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday because of an illness. Chiasson replaces Walker on the fourth line. … Mrazek is expected to start in goal after replacing Howard in the first period of a 6-3 loss to the Maple Leafs on Wednesday. Howard allowed three goals on four shots in 15:46 before being removed.

 

Stat pack

Backstrom and Kuznetsov are tied for fourth in the NHL with 11 points, while Ovechkin is one spot behind them with 10 points (nine goals, one assist). … Green is tied for sixth in the league with eight assists.

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