The Washington Capitals (18-5-2, 38 pts) and the Detroit Red Wings (15-8-4, 34 pts) are set to face-off tonight for the third time in the first 65 days of the season. The Red Wings won the first contest in Detroit 1-0. The Capitals returned the favor eight days later, winning 2-1 in Detroit. Tonight’s contest, the final regular season game between the two teams, also marks the first appearance at Verizon Center for former Capitals’ defenseman Mike Green since leaving Washington to sign with Detroit this past summer. Puck drop is 7:30 PM EST.
The Red Wings roll into Verizon Center Tuesday night on a hot streak, earning at least one point in their last 10 games – their best point streak in more than five years. The Red Wings have won their last three games, scoring five goals in each game, against Buffalo, Arizona and Nashville. (all on home ice). The Red Wings practice lines on Monday:
Red Wings Head Coach Jeff Blashil declined to name a starting goalie, following the team’s practice on Monday.
The Capitals, 7-2-1 in their last 10 games, will be looking to rebound from their 2-1 loss to the Jets in Winnipeg this past Saturday. The Capitals, 10-3-1 on home ice this season, have the fewest home losses in the NHL. However, the Capitals will be limping into the contest on the bottom end, as it looks like Brooks Orpik and Karl Alzner will both miss this game due to injuries.
The Capitals will face a stiff test defensively on Tuesday night. As noted, the Red Wings have been scoring goals in bunches lately. This coupled with the Capitals ailing blueliners and the resulting reconfiguration of the defensive line pairs, could pose quite a challenge for the Caps. The Capitals have been struggling a bit offensively in their last three to four games, and will need to snap out of it to keep pace with the Wings.