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Posted at 05:30 PM ET, 03/16/2011

Open thread: Capitals at Red Wings

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Michal Neuvirth is back between the pipes tonight as Washington looks for a 10th consecutive victory, which would be good for first place in the Eastern Conference. Detroit, which has won two in a row after losing four straight, is second place in the West, 11 points back from Vancouver.

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m., Joe Louis Arena | TV: CSN, VERSUS | Radio: 1500 AM


This game could be considered daunting for the Capitals for a number of reasons not the least of which is that the Red Wings, despite being 4-6-0 in their last 10 at Joe Louis Arena, are still one of the elite teams in the NHL. Throw in the fact that Washington arrived in town late last night after defeating Montreal, that the Capitals are pretty banged up and that Detroit has been at home for several days prior to this contest and it certainly won’t be easy to extend this winning streak to 10 games.

“It’s going to be a great test and we’ll be able to see the character of this group,” Coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Even though I know what the character is, when you’re missing an awful lot of your so-called better players that you come in here after getting in at 2 a.m. — I’m sure half the guys didn’t get to sleep until 3 a.m. yesterday -- and you’ve got another team waiting to want to beat you really bad because they think it’s a test for them.”

Based on warm-ups here’s what the lineup should look like against the Red Wings:

Forwards

Ovechkin-Johansson-Knuble

Sturm-Laich-Semin

Chimera-Beagle-Hendricks

King-Gordon-Bradley

Defense

Alzner-Carlson

Schultz-Wideman

Sloan-Hannan

Goal

Neuvirth

Holtby

Scratches: Nicklas Backstrom (fractured thumb), Semyon Varlamov (knee), John Erskine (flu), Jason Arnott (undisclosed injury) and Eric Fehr (upper-body).

By Washington Post Sports Editors  |  05:30 PM ET, 03/16/2011

 
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