Washington Capitals (41-21-7) vs Detroit Red Wings (17-49-5)
|Predicted Goaltender||Record||GAA / SV% / # SO|
|Washington Capitals||Braden Holtby||25-14-6||3.11 / .897 / 0|
|Detroit Red Wings||Jonathan Bernier||15-21-3||2.90 / .908 / 1|
The Washington Capitals are back in the nations’ capital to take on the still-last-place Detroit Red Wings. Since the last time these two teams played, the Red Wings were statistically and officially eliminated from playoff contention. The Capitals took down the Red Wings 5-2 back on November 30th, and in that time, Detroit has gone 5-26-3 on the road, and 9-33-2 within the Eastern Conference.
On Monday, the Washington Capitals fell to the Buffalo Sabres, 3-2 in the shootout, to end a one-game winning streak. Conversely, the Sabres ended a six-game losing streak. The first period featured one unsuccessful power play for the 0-for-last-17 Capitals. The Sabres feature the worst penalty kill in the league, but it was Buffalo that got on the board first. Victor Olofsson gave the Sabres a 1-0 lead less than five minutes into the first period. Washington did however elicit a great scoring chance before the end of the first, but trailed heading into the second. In a lethargic performance coming just 48 hours after a thrilling win, the Capitals seemingly had no energy versus the Sabres. Just 18 seconds into the second period, Brenden Dillon was called for slashing. 35 seconds into the man-advantage, Jack Eichel, with his 36th of the season, gave the Sabres a 2-0 lead. Three minutes after the first penalty, the Capitals were called for another, with this one coming against Richard Panik (tripping). The Caps would however kill off this penalty. The third period, which has historically been very kind to the Capitals, featured Alex Ovechkin’s 48th goal of the season which came at the 3:33 mark. With just under seven minutes remaining, Dmitry Orlov tied the game at two goals each with his 4th of the season. The Sabres would strike again before the expiration of the period, but the goal would be waved off for goaltender interference. With the game tied, the two teams played 3-on-3 overtime in which Buffalo would receive a power play. In overtime, playing a man down is typically a death sentence, but the Capitals kept the score at 2-2. In the shootout, it took seven rounds for the Sabres to snag the extra point, and hand the Capitals another loss. Braden Holtby allowed two goals on 26 shots to mark his 6th loss in extra time. It is to be determined who will start for Washington against the Red Wings.
The Detroit Red Wings were last in action on Tuesday, where they lost to the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-2. Detroit was hoping to string together three consecutive wins for just the second time this season (11/8, 11/10, 11/12). Just short of the nine-minute mark of the first, Morgan Geekie, who played in his very first NHL game just a few days ago, gave the Canes a 1-0 lead. The goal was his third in two games, as the young centerman tallied two against the Penguins on the 8th. Tyler Bertuzzi tied it 1-1 at the 13:28 mark of the second as he scored his 21st of the season for the Red Wings. Both teams received power plays, Detroit in the first and Carolina in the second, but neither converted. Detroits’ penalty kill ranks 30th of 31, and their power play is operating at 15.2%, which is good enough for 28th. Nino Niederreiter scored his 11th of the season on the Carolina power play at the 9:30 mark of the second period to give his team a 2-1 advantage over the league-worst Detroit Red Wings. However, it took just over six minutes later for Detroit to re-establish the tie, this time 2-2. Christoffer Ehn, with just his 2nd of the season, erased Carolina’s one-goal lead at the 15:26 mark of the middle frame. The Red Wings went back on the power play as Niederreiter went off for hooking late in the 2nd. Play would resume as four-on-four for the remainder of the middle frame as Tyler Bertuzzi was assessed a roughing minor, Anthony Mantha an interference minor, and Jordan Staal also a roughing minor. With the Canes on the power play, Justin Williams put his team back on top with his 8th of the season. The Red Wings received back to back power plays in the third, but rather than converting with the man-advantage, Sebastian Aho made it 4-2 Carolina as he scored short-handed to improve Carolina’s lead to two. The Red Wings would allow a third special teams goal in the third period, Sebastian Aho’s second of the night, which came on the power play. Detroit allowed three PPG’s on four opportunities, and were unable to tally once on a single one of their five man-advantages. Jonathan Bernier allowed five goals on 36 shots to end his night with a .861 save percentage.
The Detroit Red Wings are without the following players:
- RW Justin Abdelkader (OUT, illness)
- RW Johan Franzen (DL, concussion)
- RW Adam Erne (OUT, head)
- RW Filip Zadina (DL, ankle)
- D Patrik Nemeth (OUT, personal)
- D Danny DeKeyser (DL, back)
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.
TheScore. (2019). Detroit Red Wings News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/18.
TheScore. (2020). Washington Capitals News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/15.