Game: Detroit Red Wings (21-23-9) @ Washington Capitals (32-17-5)
When: Sunday, February 11th, 2018, 3:00 PM EST
Where: Capital One Arena
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
The Red Wings travel to Washington tonight as they try to forget about their performance Friday against New York. The call against Bertuzzi was not worth five minutes, and that questionable call, on top of Cal Clutterbuck’s Oscar-worthy acting, began the absolute collapse of the Wings. Zetterberg had an amazing night, tallying four points, but it was overshadowed by a defensive collapse. The offense should look to repeat its performance from Friday, but everything else needs a complete overhaul this afternoon.
Between the Pipes
Jimmy Howard will get the start tonight after Petr Mrazek gave up seven goals in their previous game. Howard has found himself benched as of late behind Mrazek’s performance lately, but it’s difficult to start Mrazek after his dismal performance on Friday. Howard has had a fine season, with a record of 14-17-6 so far with a 2.82 GAA. He goes up against Braden Holtby, who is 28-10-2 on the season with a 2.74 GAA.
Keys to the Game
Coach Jeff Blashill has decided to bench Tyler Bertuzzi in tonight’s game after he subsequently cost them the game with his 5-minute penalty. David Booth will start in his spot. Bertuzzi’s presence has been felt so far this season, and it will be interesting to see how Booth plays in his spot. Booth has been sent back and forth between the main roster and Grand Rapids quite some bit this season and has been a healthy scratch because of Bertuzzi’s strong play.
The defense and goaltending just need to be better today, and this includes the penalty kill. The penalty kill absolutely unraveled on Friday. The Wings heavily practiced on the penalty kill Saturday, according to reports. Hopefully, Jimmy Howard can bolster the team and put up a strong performance tonight for the Wings. A win over the Capitals this afternoon would be a huge confidence booster to this team. Shutting down this high powered offense attack of the Capitals will be no easy task, but it can be done.
The offense played very well against New York, with Tomas Tatar scoring two goals and Henrik Zetterberg generating four total points (one goal, three assists). Friday’s game was exactly what the offense has been needing, but unfortunately, their strong offensive attack was heavily overshadowed. If they can generate the same offense, and clean things up on defense, this team has a good shot at eyeing two points this afternoon.