Indianapolis Star
National Hockey League
Preview
Detroit at Washington
When: 4:00 PM ET, Friday, November 23, 2018
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia

The Detroit Red Wings dug themselves a deep hole with losses in nine of their first 10 games this season, but have climbed back into the playoff race and hope to continue the surge Friday afternoon against the host Washington Capitals. The Red Wings have won nine of their last 11 contests after rallying to knock off New Jersey and Boston in overtime the last two games.

“It means a lot to all of us,” Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard, who has a .947 save percentage the last five games, told reporters. “American Thanksgiving, you want to be hovering right around the playoffs, or in, and we are. It could have been very easy for all of us after seven games to just hang it up, but there’s a lot of character in this room. … So it’s no shock to anyone in this room that we were able to turn it around.” The Red Wings have surrendered 14 goals in the last seven games and will test that improving defense against the reigning Stanley Cup champions, who have won four of five despite dealing with injuries. With top-line center Evgeny Kuznetsov and nine-goal scorer T.J. Oshie out for the third straight game Wednesday, the Capitals absorbed 39 shots and found a way to defeat Chicago 4-2. “Obviously, it was a shorter summer for us and a shorter time to prepare ourselves for the season,” Washington forward Andre Burakovsky told reporters after scoring Wednesday. “Just to get back after a year that we had, I think it’s tough to get in and get going right away. So we’re building our game slowly.”

TV: 4 p.m. ET, Sportsnet East, Sportsnet Ontario, Sportsnet Pacific, FS Detroit, NBCS Washington

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (10-9-2): Speedy forward Andreas Athanasiou scored the tying and winning goals against Boston and has tallied five times while setting up three others in his last six games. “Early in the season he wasn’t getting points but he deserved more,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill told reporters of Athanasiou. “From Day 1, he’s been very engaged. … The nights when he hasn’t been at his best, the one thing he can still do is find a way to make a play. His ‘B’ game has been better and then is ‘A’ game is always good.” Dylan Larkin leads the balanced Red Wings with 19 points and his eight goals are one behind team leader Athanasiou.

ABOUT THE CAPITALS (11-7-3): Kuznetsov (21 points) and Oshie (14) did not skate Thursday, and it is unlikely they will play either Friday or Saturday afternoon against the New York Rangers. Captain Alex Ovechkin has seven of his team-leading 15 goals in his last 11 contests and shares the club lead in points (24) with center Nicklas Backstrom, who tops the Capitals with 18 assists and scored in two of the last three games. Goalie Braden Holtby turned aside 37 shots against Chicago and boasts a .950 save percentage over his past five outings while defenseman Michal Kempny (plus-7 rating) scored his first goal of the season.

OVERTIME

1. Washington F Devante Smith-Pelly has two goals in the last three games and needs one point to reach 100 in his career.

2. Detroit D Mike Green, who spent his first 10 seasons with the Capitals, is slated to play his 800th NHL game Friday.

3. The Capitals have earned at least a point in eight straight games against the Red Wings (6-0-2).

PREDICTION: Capitals 4, Red Wings 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Detroit 10-9-1-1 W2 6-4-1-0 4-5-0-1 2-1-0-0 8-8-1-1 2-5-0-0
Washington 11-7-2-1 W3 6-3-1-1 5-4-1-0 1-1-0-0 10-6-2-1 2-2-1-0
Last Meeting
Detroit Washington
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
3/22/18 WAS 1 DET 0 39 25 0-4 26 39 0-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Detroit J. Abdelkader 0
Washington B. Connolly 1
Goals Player  
Detroit J. Abdelkader 0
Washington B. Connolly 1
Assists Player  
Detroit J. Abdelkader 0
Washington J. Vrana 1
Saves Player  
Detroit J. Howard 25
Washington P. Grubauer 39
Season
Total Points Player  
Detroit D. Larkin 24
Washington A. Ovechkin 30
Goals Player  
Detroit A. Athanasiou 13
Washington A. Ovechkin 19
Assists Player  
Detroit G. Nyquist 18
Washington N. Backstrom 19
Saves Player  
Detroit J. Howard 547
Washington B. Holtby 494
Quickchart Matchup
Detroit Off vs  Washington Def
2.76 GF
3.24 GA
28.7 Shots
32.6 Shots
13 PP
20 PK
Washington Off vs  Detroit Def
3.38 GF
3.14 GA
30.6 Shots
35.5 Shots
20 PP
14 PK