The Washington Capitals will put their nine-game win streak on the line when they visit Joe Louis Arena to take on the Detroit Red Wings tonight. The game will feature two of the league's top teams as the Capitals (41-20-10, 92 points) and Red Wings (41-20-8, 90 pts) hold nearly identical records and lead their respective divisions
The Capitals haven't lost since they were spanked 6-0 by the New York Rangers on Feb. 25. Alexander Ovechkin has been the key cog as you might expect, posting a six-game point streak that spurred the run. Ovechkin has at least a point in eight of the nine wins.
The Red Wings on the other hand just got back on track after a tough stretch that saw them lose four straight games, including the last three of a West Coast swing. Detroit got it turned around on Friday and Saturday, using back-to-back game-winning goals by Pavel Datsyuk to pick up wins against Edmonton and St. Louis.
However, it's once again not all good news for Detroit on the injury front. While the Wings will regain Brian Rafalski in the lineup tonight, they will lose goalie Chris Osgood and defenseman Ruslan Salei. Osgood's not quite ready to return yet from a sports hernia and Salei is spending time with his pregnant wife. Detroit recalled goalie Joey MacDonald from AHL-Grand Rapids just hours after sending him down.
Jimmy Howard will start in net after picking up both wins over the weekend.
Players to watch
Pavel Datsyuk, Red Wings—Who else to watch other than the guy that's scored the past two game winners? The Red Wings offense goes as Datsyuk goes lately; the star Russian has scored a goal in the Red Wings' last four wins.
Alex Ovechkin, Capitals—I know, I'm just full of surprises today. Four goals and eight assists during a nine-game win streak will tend to do that.