In their last seven meetings with the Detroit Red Wings, the Washington Capitals have not experienced defeat. That includes a shutout victory and two ties at Detroits' Olympia, where the Capitals return tonight for a 7:30 engagement (WDCA-TV-20).
The Detroit team that rolled over and played dying last season, winning only three games after Jan. 1, has undergone a transformation, and the Red Wings currently hold third place in the Norris Division with a 5-4-2 reord.
General manager Ted Lindsay has signed 23 new players since he replaced Alex Delvecchio in March, and 10 of them are presently with the Wings. Most notable newcomer, as far as Washington fans are concerned, is goalie Ron Low, who takes a 2-1 record and 2.67 goals against mark into tonight's game.
This will be the Capitals' first look at Dale McCourt, the center who was picked No. 1 in the June amateur draft. McCourt, playing on a line with Paul Woods and Bill Lochead, has collected two goals and nine assists. He ranks second to the New York Islanders' Mike Bossy among NHL rookie scorers.
Besides losing his job to Lindsay, Delvecchio also gave up his No. 10 jersey - supposedly retired - to rookie McCourt.
The Wings have been filling Olympia seats that have stood vacant for several years and they also crowd the press box. Lindsay is carrying 24 players, five whom must sit out each night.
Besides Low, the Capitals will encounter another former teammate, defenseman Greg Joly. On the other hand, five former Red Wings will be playing for the Capitals - Ace Bailey, Jack Lynch, Bryan Watson, Walt McKechnie and Guy Charron.