The Washington Capitals face the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena tonight in the first game of a back-to-back set. The Capitals host the Dallas Stars at Verizon Center on Thursday.
Once again, Alex Ovechkin is just one goal shy of becoming the all-time goal scorer for Russian-born NHL players. He is currently tied with former Red Wing and Capital Sergei Fedorov at 483 career NHL goals. Tonight’s game is NBC’s “Wednesday Night Rivalry” game of the week. Puck drop is 8:00 PM on NBCSN.
Brooks Orpik made the trip to Detroit, but will not play in tonight’s game against the Red Wings. Trotz said there is a chance he returns to the lineup tomorrow night against Dallas. Orpik suited up and was on the ice for morning skate. The practice lines at morning skate:
It looks like Stanislav Galiev will be the healthy scratch.
Capitals @ Red Wings
Washington has posted a 6-2-1 record in its last nine games against Detroit, outscoring the Red Wings 31-22. Braden Holtby, in net tonight, is 3-1-0 in his career at Detroit, with a 1.97 goals against average and a .940 save percentage. The Capitals are 5-0-1 in back-to-back games this season, outscoring opponents 21-13. Petr Mrazek will be in goal for Detroit tonight. He stopped all 38 shots against Washington last week.
News and Notes
- Tonight game is Brook’s Laich‘s 700th NHL game. 699th with the Caps. (One game with the Senators)
- The strange world of NHL scheduling strikes again. After having four days off, bookended by a pair of back-to-back games, the Capitals will play seven games in the next 11 days, including five straight home games.
- The Capitals are 11-4-1 this season, marking their third best start in franchise history. Washington posted a 12-4-0 record through 16 games in 1991-92 and 2010-11. In addition, the Capitals rank tied for fourth in wins during the 2015 calendar year (38), trailing NY Rangers (47), St. Louis (41), Montreal (40) and Minnesota (39).
Nicklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin are together again (WaPo)
Coach Barry Trotz is focusing on the game between the Capitals’ ears (WaPo)
Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky tries to avoid a sophomore slump (WaPo)
Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are reunited, but maybe just for practice (WaPo)