NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, February 2nd
(All times Eastern)
Detroit Red Wings (24-19-11) at Washington Capitals (24-22-9), 12:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings will try to complete a home-and-
home sweep of the struggling Washington Capitals when the teams meet for
Sunday's finale in D.C.
The Red Wings opened this two-game series with Friday's 4-3 shootout win in
Detroit. It was Washington's ninth loss in 11 games, although the Capitals
were glad to get a point thanks to Alex Ovechkin's game-tying goal with seven
seconds left in regulation.
Patrick Eaves scored in the seventh round of the shootout to help Detroit earn
two points despite surrendering the late goal to Ovechkin. The first six
shooters on either side failed to find the net before Eaves buried a wrister
into the left corner in the seventh round. Jay Beagle was then stopped by
Jimmy Howard for the win.
"He has a lot of confidence as a player and always likes to help the team no
matter what role he is in," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock about Eaves.
"Tonight he came through for us and he's felling really good right now."
Gustav Nyquist, Drew Miller and Danny DeKeyser all scored in regulation for
the Red Wings, while Howard stopped 26 shots through 65 minutes in the win.
Ovechkin and Jason Chimera each posted a goal and an assist in the second
straight loss for the Capitals. Michal Neuvirth stopped 42 shots in the
setback, which came one night after Washington dropped a 5-2 decision in
"We played a hard-fought game last night and they were resting," said
Washington head coach Adam Oates. "We came in here and played a good game and
got a point out of it. Their goalie just played better."
The Capitals are expected to face Howard again on Sunday. He is 2-1-1 with a
2.89 goals against average in four career outings against Washington.
Despite Washington's recent struggles, Ovechkin has scored seven times over
his last eight games and he is leading the NHL with 39 goals. Ovechkin's next
goal will give him 40 or more in a season for the sixth time in his career and
for the first time since he posted 50 in 2009-10.
The 28-year-old Russian has nine goals and six assists in 10 career games
against the Red Wings.
Detroit is 4-1-1 over its last six games and enters Sunday one point out of a
playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Philadelphia Flyers, who are idle
on Sunday, currently hold the East's eighth and final postseason berth with 60
points. The Capitals are trailing the Red Wings by just two points in the East
The Red Wings expect to play a 13th straight game without star forward Pavel
Datsyuk, who is battling an unspecified lower-body injury.
Detroit winger Johan Franzen will miss today's test with a concussion as he
isn't eligible to come off injured reserve until Monday. Franzen has missed
two straight and 18 of the last 19 games due to head injuries.
Washington defenseman Mike Green sat out Friday's tilt with an upper-body
injury and he could be suffering from a concussion. Caps forward Mikhail
Grabovski has missed the last four games with a sprained left ankle and, like
Green, he isn't expected to be in the lineup on Sunday.
Caps forward Brooks Laich could also miss today's tilt after sitting out much
of the third period on Friday due to groin tightness.
Washington had won three straight in the series against the Red Wings prior to
Friday's loss. Detroit can halt a three-game road losing streak in D.C. with a
victory this afternoon.
02/02 10:31:08 ET