Capitals Game Day
Capitals vs. Red Wings: Lineup Notes, Key Stats, Pregame Quotes
The Washington Capitals look to get back on track against the Detroit Red Wings. Here is everything to know before puck drop.
WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals are in the midst of a four-game losing skid and are looking to turn things around quickly in a key playoff game against the Detroit Red Wings.
Here's everything to know ahead of puck drop.
Washington Capitals vs. Detroit Red Wings: Lineup Notes
Nic Dowd appears set to make his return and play for the first time in 12 games after being activated from the injured reserve on Tuesday. With Dowd off the IR, Aliaksei Protas returned to Hershey.
With Dowd likely playing, Lars Eller will shift to the wing after having played as the fourth-line center over this recent span.
Washington didn't take line rushes on Tuesday, but did at Monday's practice. Here were the lines:
Conor Sheary-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Anthony Mantha-Dylan Strome-T.J. Oshie
Sonny Milano/Lars Eller-Nicklas Backstrom-Marcus Johansson
Nicolas Aube-Kubel/Aliaksei Protas-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway
Dmitry Orlov-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Martin Fehervary-Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson-Dylan McIlrath
Alex Alexeyev-Matt Irwin
Darcy Kuemper will make his fourth straight start against Detroit.
Meanwhile, for the Red Wings, Jakub Vrana will make his long-awaited NHL return in his D.C. homecoming as he faces his former team for the first time. Vrana has not played since October after spending time in the NHL/NHLPA Player Assistance Program and went down to the Grand Rapids Griffins for conditioning.
Washington Capitals vs. Detroit Red Wings: Key Stats
Capitals: 3-7-0 in last 10 (L4); 20.2 PP% (20th), 81.3 PK % (10th), 3 GF/G (22nd), 2.90 GA/G (12th)
Red Wings: 7-3-0 in last 10 (L1), 21.6 PP% (15th), 78 PK% (18th), 3.09 GF/G (18th), 3.20 GA/G (20th)
Washington Capitals vs. Detroit Red Wings: Pregame Quotes
Sonny Milano: "It's time to really get some wins here. Teams behind us obviously caught up. Now you got some work to do to get back at them and it's time to do it. Can't wait."
Tom Wilson: "No matter how we've gotten to this point in the season, it's a bit of a wake-up call. It's crunch time now, and the past is the past. We got 25, whatever games left and we got to make sure that we're extremely focused and we make a really good, hard push here because every win matters. So I think this point in the year — the outdoor game was fun, it was an adrenaline game. Now we have to reset and look at the schedule here and start putting together some wins. Starts with tonight."
Jakub Vrana: “Obviously I spent a couple years over here so i got some flashbacks for sure going to the rink and stepping on the ice here… I think it’s just overall, like my time here was we had a great group here. We obviously won the Cup, but I think the most imporant thing was that we stick together as a team. We were like one family here, and that brings the memories overall into the future."
Game Time & How To Tune In
Puck drop is at 7 p.m. ET at Capital One Arena. Local Capitals fans can tune in on NBC Sports Washington or listen on 106.7 The Fan or Caps Radio 24/7.
Meanwhile, Detroit fans can check out Red Wings coverage on Detroit Hockey Now, including pregame notes and other game information.