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WGD: GAME 54: RED WINGS @ CAPITALS

Boy, that was something wasn’t it? The Red Wings had a commanding lead in Brooklyn on Friday before a five-minute slashing major to Tyler Bertuzzi enabled the Islanders to pick up four (FOUR!) power-play goals and take a 6-5 lead. Mike Green would end up tying the game before they would eventually lose in overtime—making them 1-8 in 3-on-3 overtime this season (they are 4-1 when it makes it to the shootout).

This afternoon will be the second of three meetings between the Red Wings and Capitals. Detroit lost 4-3 in overtime (yep) in the first meeting and the Capitals come in having won four of their last six games, while averaging 3.83 goals for per game over that span.

Washington enters play with 69 points (32-17-5) and first in the Metropolitan Division, but ninth overall in the NHL.

THE RED WINGS

Detroit Red Wings lines via DailyFaceoff

Amazingly enough, the Red Wings offence woke up in a big way on Friday but it still wasn’t enough to hold off the Islanders. Hopefully that game was enough to get the “O” fire back up. It was mostly the top line though, with Henrik Zetterberg picking up four points (1G / 3A) and Anthony Mantha scoring two goals. The second line remains ice cold, with Dylan Larkin picking up just one assist. Andreas Athanasiou is now pointless in seven straight while Tomas Tatar has just two assists in his last eight.

THE CAPITALS

Washington Capitals lines via DailyFaceoff

Andre Burakovsky is expected to be inserted back into the Capitals lineup after he served as a healthy scratch on Friday. The winger has a lot of offensive ability, but injuries have hampered him in 2017-18—he has just 11 points (4G / 7A) in 28 games this season.

Lars Eller comes into Sunday’s game fresh off of signing a five-year contract extension worth $17.5M ($3.5M AAV). Eller is enjoying the best offensive season of his career, having scored 11 goals with 17 assists in 53 games so far.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a slow start to the season, but has really caught fire as of late. The 25-year-old has picked up three goals and 10 assists (13 points) in his last 12 games coming into today. A lot of that probably had to do with him spending some time back on a line with Alex Ovechkin—they’ve since been separated again. Ovie continues to shred the NHL, scoring four goals and five assists (nine points) in his last eight games to give him a total of 32 goals and 26 assists (58 points) on the season.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Neither team has announced a starting goalie yet, but one would assume it will be Jimmy Howard vs. Braden Holtby. Petr Mrazek had been the better of the two goalies as of late, but he was shelled in Brooklyn. Howard on the other hand is coming off of a solid outing vs. the Bruins. The veteran netminder stopped 28 of 31 shots in the 3-2 loss and is now winless in his last five games—he has allowed a combined 17 goals on 132 shots (.871 SV%) over that span. Howie is also 4-7-1 with a 2.76 GAA and .915 SV% on the road this season.

Holtby is coming off of back-to-back wins earlier this week in a home-and-home series with the Blue Jackets. Holtby was a busy guy in those games, stopping 37 of 39 and 35 of 37 to earn 3-2 and 4-2 wins. The 28-year-old has gone 17-5-1 with a 2.16 GAA and .931 SV% at the Capital One Arena this year.

HOW TO WATCH

Puck-drop between the Red Wings and Capitals will be a 3:00pm ET at Capital One Arena in Washington, DC. It can be seen on Fox Sports Detroit in the United States and across the SportsNet Network (SNE, SNO, SNW and SN1) in Canada.

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