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Capitals at Red Wings preview

Washington can claim best record in NHL; Detroit tries to end eight-game winless skid

by Dave Hogg / Independent Correspondent

CAPITALS (18-4-5) at RED WINGS (7-18-3)



The Game

The Washington Capitals will try for their third straight win and 12th in 16 games when they visit the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on Saturday.

The Capitals, tied with the Boston Bruins for most points in the NHL (41), have won consecutive games and are 11-2-2 in their past 15. 

Captain Alex Ovechkin's next power-play goal will be the 256th of his NHL career and move him past Teemu Selanne for sole possession of third place on the League all-time list.

The Red Wings, who have lost six straight and are winless in eight straight (0-6-2), have been outscored 19-2 in their past four games, with one goal in their past three.


Players to watch

Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in his past 12 games.

Red Wings center Dylan Larkin hasn't scored a goal during Detroit's winless streak and has gone seven games without a point. He has six goals in 28 games after scoring an NHL career-high 32 goals last season.


They said it

"It's looking more and more like that's our identity here, is our ability to stay composed and not panic, and even get better through adversity. … It's one of those things that's great to have right now and we want to make sure we keep it that way." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby after Washington rallied for a 4-3 overtime win against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday

"This is our job, and we have to take pride in it. We know we have to be a lot better than this, and we need to keep working on that. This is unacceptable. We're working hard, but we're still stuck in the same situation. We can't make excuses, because this isn't OK by any stretch of the imagination." -- Red Wings forward Luke Glendening


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Lars Eller -- T.J. Oshie

Richard Panik -- Chandler Stephenson -- Travis Boyd

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Jonas Siegenthaler -- Radko Gudas

Ilya Samsonov

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Christian Djoos, Beck Malenstyn

Injured: Nicklas Backstrom (upper body), Carl Hagelin (upper body)


Red Wings projected lineup

Tyler Bertuzzi -- Dylan Larkin -- Luke Glendening

Robby Fabbri -- Valtteri Filppula -- Andreas Athanasiou

Filip Zadina -- Frans Nielsen -- Darren Helm

Brendan Perlini -- Christoffer Ehn -- Adam Erne

Madison Bowey -- Filip Hronek

Mike Green -- Dennis Cholowski

Dylan McIlrath -- Alex Biega

Jonathan Bernier

Calvin Pickard

Scratched: Justin Abdelkader, Taro Hirose, Jonathan Ericsson

Injured: Danny DeKeyser (lower body), Trevor Daley (lower body), Anthony Mantha (lower body), Jimmy Howard (lower body), Patrik Nemeth (undisclosed)


Status report

Backstrom was scheduled to take part in the morning skate Saturday but is not ready to return. … With Mantha still unavailable, Glendening moved to the first line in a 6-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday, with Fabbri dropping back to his usual spot on the second line.


Stat pack

Vrana has four points (two goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak. … Fabbri's first-period goal Friday marked the only time Detroit has scored in its past three games.

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