A crippled, desperate Detroit Red wings...
RED WINGS (22-21-10) at CAPITALS (37-11-6)
7 p.m. ET; FS-D, CSN-DC, NHL.TV
Red Wings team scope
Goalie Petr Mrazek will start his fourth straight game for the Detroit Red Wings after making 24 saves in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. The Red Wings, who have made the Stanley Cup Playoffs for 25 consecutive seasons, are five points out of the second wild card from the Eastern Conference and 2-2-4 in their past eight games. "We have to play a great road game," coach Jeff Blashill said. "We have to do a great job of managing the puck. We've got to do a great job of getting the puck out at our blue line, get the puck in at their blue line and trying to make them defend. I think we've proven to be a really good hockey team when we play in the offensive zone, so let's do everything we can to transport the puck and play in the offensive zone as much as possible." Defenseman Ryan Sproul returns after being a healthy scratch for 12 games. Sproul will be on the third defensive pairing with Brendan Smith.
Capitals team scope
The Washington Capitals have won four straight and 10 in a row at Verizon Center, where they are 22-5-1 and haven't lost in regulation since Dec. 17 (2-1 against the Montreal Canadiens), but coach Barry Trotz is bracing for a Red Wings team deep into its playoff push. "They're finding ways to dig in, they're finding ways to get extra points every night," Trotz said. "That's been a real good committed mindset. They've got a team with good speed and good structure as they always do. Right now they know they're in a real war to get into a playoff spot. They've got a legacy that I think everyone on that team wants to continue." Goalie Braden Holtby will start for the Capitals. Holtby is 12-0-0 with 19 goals allowed in his past 14 games and has four shutouts in his past 12, including his seventh of the season when he made 23 saves in a 5-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
Red Wings projected lineup
Gustav Nyquist -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Anthony Mantha
Andreas Athanasiou -- Darren Helm -- Thomas Vanek
Tomas Tatar -- Riley Sheahan -- Dylan Larkin
Justin Abdelkader -- Luke Glendening -- Tomas Jurco
Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green
Nick Jensen -- Jonathan Ericsson
Brendan Smith -- Ryan Sproul
Scratched: Steve Ott, Xavier Ouellet, Alexey Marchenko
Injured: Tyler Bertuzzi (ankle), Jimmy Howard (knee), Frans Nielsen (shoulder), Niklas Kronwall (lower body)
Capitals projected lineup
Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams
Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner -- John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt
Scratched: Taylor Chorney, Zach Sanford
Sanford was recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Wednesday.
Zetterberg has seven points in his past six games. … Backstrom has 24 points in 17 games. … Ovechkin has 20 points in his past 15 games.