The Red Wings play the first of a two-game home-and-home against Washington tonight, and will do so with some major reinforcements in the lineup.
Captain Henrik Zetterberg, who has missed the last two games with an upper-body injury, will draw back in at center while goalie Jimmy Howard, who has missed the last four games with a knee injury, will get the start in goal.
Detroit will also bring Jakub Kindl back into the mix. The Czech rearguard hasn’t played since Jan. 20 with a hip injury.
Zetterberg’s inclusion will come at the expense of veteran Dan Cleary, who will be parked tonight after going scoreless in his last eight games. Defenseman Brian Lashoff will come out for Kindl.
These next two games are huge for Detroit, as it heads into Friday’s action 1) looking to make amends for Tuesday’s embarrassing 5-0 defeat in Philly, and 2) gunning to move up the standings in the Eastern Conference. The Wings are currently on 57 points, one back of Ottawa for the final wild card spot.
The Caps, meanwhile, are on 56 points and two back of the Sens.