(Photo by Dan Mannes/Detroit Red Wings)
Each team is locked into a tight battle for a Stanley Cup playoffs spot in its respective conferences. The Canucks are clinging to the last postseason spot in the Western Conference and the Red Wings are among a group of five teams right outside the cutoff mark in the East.
Detroit avoided being shut out for a fourth straight road game, but still lost a sixth straight road game with a 6-5 defeat in overtime at the Washington Capitals on Sunday.
The good news is the top line of Gustav Nyquist, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader produced five of the Red Wings' eight goals and amassed nine points against the Capitals in the weekend home-and-home set. That included four goals by Nyquist, who recorded his first NHL hat trick and assisted on another goal in the OT loss Sunday afternoon.
The bad news is the defensive coverage lagged Sunday, leaving goaltender Jimmy Howard with little chance to stop the majority of Washington's goals.
"We showed some good resilience tonight," Howard said. "We found a way to come back, scraping and clawing and getting a point. At the same time, we could've easily been walking out of here with two points. I've got to find a way to come up with a couple more saves for the guys."
Tonight, Howie will look to make a few more saves and sweep the season series against Vancouver.
Welcome to the Detroit Red Wings Game Day Blog, where you can get behind-the-scenes information, thoughts from players and staff, and up-to-date news on anything and everything Red Wings on game day.
You can watch tonight's 7:30 PM matchup on Fox Sports Detroit-Plus, or listen in with Ken Kal and Paul Woods on AM1270.