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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 31st (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (24-22-8) at Detroit Red Wings (23-19-11), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The struggling Detroit Red Wings will try to shake off a recent blowout loss when they host the Washington Capitals in Friday's clash at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings were handed a 5-0 loss Tuesday in Philadelphia. It was the second straight setback for Detroit, which fell to 3-4-1 over its last eight trips to the ice.

Detroit's recent inconsistent play has more than a little to do with the club's injury problems. The club has played the last 11 games without star forward Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) and Henrik Zetterberg also missed Tuesday's game in Philly due to a back issue.

The good news is that Zetterberg, who leads Detroit with 16 goals and 44 points, skated on Wednesday and Thursday and is hopeful he can return to the lineup tonight.

Datsyuk, however, will miss a 12th straight game for the Red Wings. Detroit also will be without winger Johan Franzen (concussion) on Friday, as well as fellow forwards Cory Emmerton (finger) and Stephen Weiss (sports hernia).

Red Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard had missed the last four games due to a knee injury, but he expects to be in goal tonight against the Capitals. He is 1-1-1 with a 2.93 goals against average in three career tests against Washington.

With Howard injured, Jonas Gustavsson made his fourth straight start in Tuesday's game and he allowed all five Philadelphia goals on 28 shots. The Flyers continued their home mastery of Detroit, winning their eighth straight against the Red Wings in front of the home crowd, having last lost on Jan. 25, 1997.

"Well, I thought we did a lot of good things early," said Detroit head coach Mike Babcock. "I thought we were in it, then too many self-inflicted wounds. We've got to be ultra-hardworking. We didn't have enough details tonight with or without the puck."

Detroit has made 22 consecutive playoff appearances, but enters Friday one point out of the last postseason berth in the Eastern Conference.

The Red Wings have not fared well on home ice this season, going 9-11-8 in the Motor City. Detroit also has lost two straight against the Capitals at Joe Louis Arena and Washington has won three in a row and four of five in the series overall.

Washington will try to get back on the right track this evening after having a two-game winning streak snapped in Thursday's 5-2 loss against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Capitals trailed 4-0 at one point during the second period en route to the lopsided road loss.

Joel Ward and Eric Fehr supplied the goals for Washington, which lost for the eighth time in the past 10 games. Braden Holtby stopped 24-of-29 Columbus shots, while Washington captain Alex Ovechkin was a minus-5 and registered only two shots on net.

Holtby didn't have a banner evening either. The Blue Jackets mustered only five first-period shots, but two wound up behind the Washington goaltender.

"We were terrible. It was probably the worst period that I've seen the boys play in over a year," Washington head coach Adam Oates said about his team's start.

In addition to losing on Thursday the Capitals also saw Mike Green leave the game due to an upper-body injury. The defenseman was hurt after getting slammed into the boards by Columbus forward Boone Jenner and did not return to the game. Green is questionable for tonight's contest, as is forward Mikhail Grabovski, who has sat out the last three games.

Despite a rough January that has seen the club post a 4-7-3 record, the Capitals are still only two points out of playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

Washington is 2-2-0 on a five-game road trip that ends tonight. The Caps are 10-13-4 as the visiting team this season.

01/31 10:49:51 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HAMP
TENST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
WSHMD
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
DICKINSON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LSUALEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13