Of Red Wings and Capitals note ahead of tonight’s game between the two teams (7:30 PM EST on Bally Sports Detroit/NBCS Washington/97.1 FM):
- NHL.com’s “On tap” looks toward tonight’s game as another possible milestone-marker for one Alex Ovechkin:
Ovechkin tries again for power-play goals record: Alex Ovechkin will try again to set the NHL record for most power-play goals when the Washington Capitals (19-6-7) visit the Detroit Red Wings (7:30 p.m. ET; BSDET, NBCSWA, ESPN+, NHL LIVE). It is the fourth attempt to break the record for the Capitals forward, who tied Dave Andreychuk with 274 power-play goals in a 5-4 overtime loss at the Chicago Blackhawks on Dec. 15. Ovechkin is also looking to become the third player this season to score 50 points, joining Edmonton Oilers teammates Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, each of whom has 50. Ovechkin has scored 48 points (22 goals, 26 assists) in 36 games. Dylan Larkin and the Red Wings (15-13-3) have not played since a 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils on Dec. 18, but the forward has scored five goals in his past three games, including a hat trick against the Devils. — Shawn P. Roarke, Senior Director of Editorial
As you already know by now, the beat writers more or less skipped today’s Red Wings morning skate, with only a video of Jeff Blashill’s comments and a couple of Tweets from the Red Wings hitting the internet wires, as it were.
2. The Red Wings did post a very late game preview as well, with DetroitRedWings.com’s Jonathan Mills discussing the Wings’ aim to win their first game in nearly two weeks opposite a stacked Capitals team:
It has been 13 days since the Detroit Red Wings last played a game. For coach Jeff Blashill and his players, it has been 13 days too long.
“Eager to get back into games,” Blashill said. “This is what we do, and to a large degree, what we live for. It’s great to get that going.”
After having their last four games postponed due to COVID-19-related concerns, the Red Wings will take the ice on Friday against the Washington Capitals for the annual New Year’s Eve game at Little Caesars Arena. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Bally Sports Detroit and the Red Wings Radio Network.
Despite the break in the schedule, Detroit had multiple days to practice. Players recently missing from the lineup were able to get back into skating shape, while others took advantage of an optional skating session on Wednesday.
Over the past few days, the Red Wings saw several players come off the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list, including Lucas Raymond, Adam Erne, Jordan Oesterle, Sam Gagner, Joe Veleno, Filip Zadina, Alex Nedeljkovic, Carter Rowney, Givani Smith, Pius Suter, Robby Fabbri and Michael Rasmussen. Blashill and assistant coach Alex Tanguay were also removed from protocol earlier this week.
Before the NHL’s pause and Wednesday’s postponement against the New York Islanders, Detroit beat the New Jersey Devils, 5-2, on Dec. 18 at Little Caesars Arena. Captain Dylan Larkin tallied his first career hat trick, while Tyler Bertuzzi found the back of the net twice.
For Moritz Seider, building off Detroit’s last win and returning to regular-season action is exciting.
“I think everybody is really looking forward to playing games again,” Seider said. “It was a rough stretch for us but all in all, I think the boys are hungry.”