Nic Dowd Possible, Daniel Sprong A Likely Scratch For Tonight’s Tilt With Red Wings

Following a day off on Tuesday, the Capitals were back to work on Wednesday for a gameday morning skate this morning at MedStar Capitals Iceplex. The Capitals will host the Detroit Red Wings tonight at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for just after 7:00 PM.

This marks Washington’s first game against Detroit since November 30, 2019 – a 5-2 win at Little Caesars Arena – and the first time the Red Wings have visited Capital One Arena since Dec. 11, 2018.

The forward lines and defensive pairings at this mornings skate were the same as the starting lineup for the Capitals 7-5 win over the Senators on Monday:

Vitek Vanecek will get the start in goal.

Nic Dowd skated with the team this morning, but he wore a light-blue (non-contact) jersey. He has been listed day-to-day with a lower-body injury following Saturday’s game against the Calgary Flames, and did not make the trip to Ottawa for the Capitals 7-5 win over the Senators on Monday night.

“Obviously a good sign, he’s back out on the ice. He’s practicing. We’ll go in and get a report and see where he’s at,” said Laviolette following morning skate.

Daniel Sprong skated with the extras after morning skate, which could indicate Dowd might return and Sprong will be a scratch tonight. Sprong played a team-low 7:42 at Ottawa on Monday, including just 58 seconds in the third period.

The Capitals have three former Red Wings on their roster in Anthony Mantha, Nick Jensen and Dennis Cholowski. Mantha, who has recorded four points (2g, 2a) in six games this season, is scheduled to play in his first career game against Detroit.

In each of his last five seasons, Mantha has scored at a pace of at least 20 goals each season, setting a career high of 25 goals in 2018-19 in just 67 games, a 30-goal pace. Mantha had dinner with some of his former teammates last night (Larkin, Fabbri, Rasmussen).

The Capitals enter tonight’s game earning a point in 12 straight games against the Red Wings (10-0-2), dating back to Nov. 18, 2015. During that span, Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 10 goals in 12 games, while both Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov are tied for the team lead with 11 assists.

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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2 Responses to Nic Dowd Possible, Daniel Sprong A Likely Scratch For Tonight’s Tilt With Red Wings

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    It they, indeed, are scratching Sprong, if Dowd was wearing a blue (no contact) jersey, he sounds a bit iffy to go in tonight. If Dowd were ready, it’s one thing, but he sounds somewhat questionable.

  2. Jon Sorensen says:

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