Washington Capitals (18-4-5) vs Detroit Red Wings (7-18-3)
|Predicted Goaltender||Record||GAA / SV% / # SO|
|Washington Capitals||Ilya Samsonov||5-2-1||2.65 / .912 / 0|
|Detroit Red Wings||Jonathan Bernier||5-6-2||3.31 / .893 / 0|
The Washington Capitals will face off against the last-place Detroit Red Wings tonight as they play their second game of a back-to-back. Historically, the Capitals have been extremely successful against Detroit, emerging victorious in 11 of their last 14 meetings. The last time Washington played Detroit was back on January 6th, where they won 3-2.
Last night, the Washington Capitals defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning in overtime with a 4-3 characteristically Caps’ comeback. Garnet Hathaway returned to the lineup after serving a three-game suspension for spitting on Anaheim’s Erik Gudbranson. Tampa Bay would receive two power plays before the first goal was scored. Lars Eller was called for interference at the 8:17 mark, and thankfully, the Caps’ penalty kill would keep Tampa scoreless. However, with three minutes left in the first, Richard Panik would be called for a high-stick, and at the 18:50 mark, Brayden Point would score his 8th of the season. What was most frustrating, was that the Capitals dominated the first period, but ultimately would head into the second down by one. Less than five minutes into the second, Mikhail Sergachev would give Tampa a 2-0 lead, but 30 seconds later, it was the Russian goal-scorer that would go off for interference. The Capitals first power play of the night was able to get them on the board, as Evgeny Kuznetsov tallied his 11th goal of the season.
The two teams would skate 4-on-4 as Kuznetsov and Yanni Gourde both were called for roughing for partaking in some extra curriculars after the whistle. Neither team would add to their score, but moments later, Richard Panik was called for his second minor penalty of the night. Tampa would receive their 3rd power play but did not convert. With 90 seconds remaining in the period, Alex Killorn extended Tampa’s lead by two, with a score of 3-1. What had been Washingtons’ best period in goal-scoring, nearly sealed the deal on a post-Thanksgiving loss. The Capitals only registered five shots on goal in a sleepy, snooze-fest of a second. However, much to the dismay of the handful of Lightning fans in the building, Killorn’s goal would be the third and final goal Tampa scored. At the 3:45 mark of the third, Jakub Vrana would bring the Caps within one as he potted his 12th goal of the season.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was called for interference at the 5:19 mark, but the good guys would kill off the penalty. Ovechkin would ultimately score the game-tying goal at the 11:36 mark, as Washington converted on their second power play, thanks to Nikita Kucherov going off for holding.
The Capitals held off the Lightning for the remainder of regulation, and once again, this one would go to overtime. Washington registered the only shots on goal of the overtime period, and Dmitry Orlov, with his 2nd goal of the season, would win it for the Caps.
With Braden Holtby having played last night, Ilya Samsonov is slated to start tonight.
The Detroit Red Wings also played last night, where they lost to the Philadelphia Flyers, 6-1. Marking their 8th straight loss, Detroit coaching and organizational staff have questioned, “just how much further down is rock-bottom?”. Scott Laughton started off the scoring for the Flyers just short of the three-minute mark of the first period. Five minutes later, former St Louis Blue Robby Fabbri scored for Detroit, tying the game 1-1. Fabbri’s goal would be the only goal the Red Wings managed to put up against Philadelphia. Detroit received the first power play of the game, as Sean Couturier went off for hooking, but they would not convert. Detroit’s 28th ranked power play, and 31st ranked penalty kill has proven fatal for Steve Yzermans’ squad (TheScore, Detroit Red Wings). At the 17:20 mark of the first, Philadelphia received its first power play, and as the two-minute man-advantage was about to expire, Shayne Gostisbehere scored his 2nd goal of the season, a goal that would end up being the game-winner. 90 seconds into the second period, former Capitals’ liability Madison Bowey was called for tripping, but the Flyers were unable to add to their lead. Claude Giroux was called for hooking four minutes later, but the Flyers successfully killed off the penalty. Sean Couturier would give the Flyers a 3-1 lead, as he scored his 8th of the season. Just 27 seconds into the final frame, Kevin Hayes improved the Flyers’ lead by 3 goals. Richard Hagg went off for holding the stick early in the third, but Detroits’ offense remained stagnant. Losing Anthony Mantha to a lower-body injury has, and certainly will continue to affect the Red Wings for as long as he is out. 30 seconds after Hayes’ goal, Oskar Lindblom scored his 10th of the season. Derek Helm was called for tripping, and the Flyers received their 3rd power play of the game with just under six minutes remaining. Detroit managed to kill off the penalty, but James van Riemsdyk would improve the Flyers’ lead to five goals with two minutes remaining in the match. Although there isn’t much good to say about Detroit right now, Tyler Bertuzzi leads the healthy players with 10 goals. In regard to their offense, the Red Wings rank 31st in goals for (2.19), 29th in shots on goal (29), 28th for power play efficiency (13.6%), 31st in shot percentage (7.5%), and 21st in faceoff percentage (49.1%). Defensively, they allow the most goals against (3.81), 6th most shots against (32.6), their penalty kill ranks 31st (72.6), and they are called for, on average, 8.4 penalty minutes per game. It is unclear who will start for the Red Wings tonight, as Jimmy Howard is currently listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury.
Detroit will be without Trevor Daley (DL, undisclosed), Justin Abdelkader (DL, undisclosed), Johan Franzen (DL, concussion), Danny DeKeyser (DL, undisclosed), and Anthony Mantha (OUT, lower body). Nicklas Backstrom is not expected to dress for Washington, though he may travel with the team on their California road-trip.
Coverage of the game begins at 6:00pm with Caps Faceoff Live, followed by Caps Pregame Live at 6:30pm, all on NBCSN/NBCSWA, with puck drop shortly after 7:00pm.
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TheScore. (2019). Detroit Red Wings News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/18.