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Capitals vs. Red Wings: Tale of the Tape, Lines, Players To Watch

Alex Ovechkin looks to make history as the Washington Capitals face the Detroit Red Wings. Here are lines, players to watch and the full tale of the tape before puck drop.



WASHINGTON — Two guests of honor will be watching closely at Capital One Arena tonight, as Gordie Howe's sons, Mark and Marty, will be watching as Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals look to make history against the Detroit Red Wings.

Here's everything to know before puck drop:

Capitals vs. Red Wings: Tale of the Tape

The Capitals (16-13-4) are coming off one of their best performances of the season against the Toronto Maple Leafs, where defenseman Erik Gustafsson scored a hat trick while Charlie Lindgren stood tall to lift Washington to a dominant victory over a solid Toronto club. However, they did suffer a loss, as T.J. Oshie, who has been bringing that energy on and off the ice and has been a factor in the team's hot streak, suffered an upper-body injury. Special teams are also doing well, as the power play is getting its chances (21.8) and the penalty kill is back in the league's top-10 (80.7).

Meanwhile, Detroit (13-11-6) has seen its share of struggles this season, has dropped the last three games and will be looking to bounce back. The Red Wings haven't been clicking offensively of late, and they have the eighth-least goals for per game (.290) and the eighth-worst power play in the league (19.8 percent). On defense, they surrender just over three goals a game, and the penalty kill ranks 22nd (76.4 percent).

Capitals vs. Red Wings: Lines

Nic Dowd is day-to-day but is a game-time decision after taking part in the morning skate and line rushes. Here are what the combinations looked like:

Alex Ovechkin-Dylan Strome-Conor Sheary

Sonny Milano-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Anthony Mantha

Marcus Johansson-Lars Eller-Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Aliaksei Protas-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson-John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen

Matt Irwin-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Charlie Lindgren will make his eighth straight start, as Darcy Kuemper has been cleared to back up.

Capitals vs. Red Wings: Players To Watch

Of course, the biggest name to watch is Ovechkin. The 37-year-old is one goal from tying Gordie Howe for second on the NHL's all-time goals list, and two from passing him altogether. Look for him to try and make an impact against Howe's former team, as he has hit several milestones against Detroit in the last few years (he broke the all-time power-play goals record against the Red Wings last year, and tied Howe for the most single-team goals of all-time back on Nov. 3).

RELATED: Ovechkin Reflects On Meeting Gordie Howe, Holds "Mr. Hockey" Close To Heart

Also watch for Sonny Milano, who had three assists last game, five assists in his last four games and 14 points in 20 games for Washington so far.  Gustafsson also showed again what he can do offensively against Toronto and also look for Evgeny Kuznetsov, who has points in seven of his last eight, and Dylan Strome, who has points in two of his last three games, to make noise, too. Conor Sheary also has eight points in his last nine games.

On Detroit, keep an eye on Dylan Larkin, who leads the team with 10 goals and 17 assists for 27 points in 29 games. Adam Erne is also dangerous, as he has points in back-to-back games. Also look for the usual suspects in Dominik Kubalik, Filip Hronek, Lucas Raymond and Moritz Seider.

How To Tune In

Local fans can watch the action live on NBC Sports Washington and tune in to listen on Caps Radio 24/7. Seattle fans can catch the action on Bally Sports Detroit. The game will also be on ESPN+ and NHL Network.

Puck drop is at 7 p.m. at Capital One Arena. It closes out a three-game home stand.