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Red Wings-Capitals game-day articles: both teams focus on PP as Sproul, Bertuzzi get comfortable

Updated 5x at 2:52 PM: The Red Wings face the Washington Capitals this evening (7 PM EST on FSD Plus/CSN Mid-Atlantic/97.1 FM), with the 8-8-and-1 Wings hoping to snap a 2-game losing streak against the 10-4-and-1 Capitals, and the teams' morning skates weren't all that revealing in terms of line-up decisions.

According to the Caps' beat writers, Washington will ice the following lineup against the Wings...

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Wallner: Matt Ford makes his Griffins debut, contributes to scoring

From the Grand Rapids Press's Peter J. Wallner:

It was unusual to have a nine-year veteran such as Matthew Ford anxious for a game in November, but he had good reason.

The 32-year old right winger waited just over a month to play his first game with Grand Rapids Griffins due to a preseason lower body injury. Once on the ice Wednesday, he wasted no time as the offseason signing scored in the first period in the Griffins' 6-3 win against Texas.

The two teams meet again 7 tonight at Van Andel Arena.

"Until you're playing in games, you don't feel in the mix," Ford said afterward. "Seeing the success this team has had lately, I knew once I was healthy that I wanted to have the opportunity to have a positive impact on the team."

Ford could be a big complement to the Griffins' offense. He had 27 goals (tied for eighth in the league) and 51 points last season at Bakersfield, and has 149 goals and 306 points in 480 career games with seven other AHL teams.

"He's a good leader in the room and provides offense for us as well," said coach Todd Nelson, who had Ford with him at Oklahoma City when he scored 44 goals and 100 points over two seasons in 2013-14 and 14-15.

Wallner continues...

Update: Here's the Griffins' Game-Day Preview video:

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Red Wings-Capitals morning skate Tweets and articles: lineup changes for the Wings are murky

The Red Wings hope to snap their 2-game losing streak as they face the Washington Capitals this evening (7 PM EST on FSD Plus/CSN Mid-Atlantic/97.1 FM). According to MLive's Brendan Savage, the Wings have struggled against the Capitals of late...

• The Red Wings have a 3-2-4 record in their last nine meetings with the Capitals dating back to 2013.The Capitals, whose offense has ranked sixth or better in the East for four straight seasons, have averaged 2.55 goals in those nine meetings with the Red Wings. Throw out Washington's 6-5 win in 2013-14 and that number drops to 2.13.

The Associated Press's game preview notes that Braden Holtby has been dominant against the Wings...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Capitals set-up

The Red Wings hope to snap a 2-game losing streak when they face one of the league's hottest teams this evening, facing the Washington Capitals (7 PM EST on FSD Plus/CSN Mid-Atlantic/97.1 FM).

The Capitals sit at 10-4-and-2 after their 7-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, and that win snapped a 2-game losing streak; the Red Wings are admist a 2-game losing streak and sit at 8-8-and-1, and the Wings are very wary of both the threat that the Capitals pose and the fact that the team isn't at or near the playoff pack disturbingly close to American Thanksgiving.

For the Capitals, who didn't practice on Thursday, their victory over Pittsburgh was a return to form, as Capitals.com's Mike Vogel noted:

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A note about Filip Hronek

The Free Press's George Sipple attended today's press conference discussing the "OHL Farwell to the Joe" game between the Windsor Spitfires and Saginaw Spirit on December 4th, duly noting that the Spirit possess an important Wings prospect:

The event will give Draper and other members of the Detroit Red Wings’ front office another chance to see defenseman Filip Hronek, whom the Wings picked in the second round of this year's NHL draft. Draper, a special assistant to Wings general manager Ken Holland, has seen the Spirit play three times this season and told the Free Press that he’ll see them at least once more -- on Saturday -- before the Dec. 4 game at Joe Louis Arena, which is closing after this season.

Hronek (6 feet, 170 pounds) leads the Spirit with 13 assists and is tied for the team lead in scoring (15 points) with forward Mitchell Stephens.

Spirit coach Spencer Carbery and Spitfires coach Rocky Thompson joined Draper and Pat Peake at a news conference today at Joe Louis Arena to drum up interest in the game. Peake was the first star of the Compuware Ambassadors, who went on to play at Joe Louis Arena as the Detroit Junior Red Wings in the early 1990s. He later played for the Washington Capitals in the NHL.

“Filip’s gotten off to a great start,” Carbery said. “I think he’s actually pretty unique, leading our team in scoring as a defenseman. Your prototypical power play (leader). ... A real terrific skater. Plays with his head up. Makes a lot of plays. Really exciting to play at the OHL level. He’ll be a real treat to see December 4th in this building.”

Sipple continues...

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Khan: Wings aware of their status in the standings

MLive's Ansar Khan asked the Red Wings to scout the Washington Capitals, but before he did so he duly noted that the Red Wings were in a similar position--out of the playoff hunt--last year at this time:

The Detroit Red Wings have the same record after 17 games as they did a year ago, but they're trending in the wrong direction, going 2-6-1 in their past nine games.

They are three points out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, but also three points out of last place in the Atlantic Division.

Last season, after an 8-8-1 start, they gained points in their next 13 games (8-0-5) to get back in the thick of the playoff chase.

They'll try to get back above .500 Friday when they visit Washington, their third consecutive game against a Stanley Cup contender.

"We know we have to win games to get back into the race here," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "It's still early, but we don't want to drop back too far. We know when we're not stubborn and play the way we should we're a good team."

Khan continues...

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Caps’ Kuznetsov tries to emulate Pavel Datsyuk

From the Washington Post's Isabelle Khurshudyan:

Evgeny Kuznetsov had worked 10 days straight this summer with his idol’s trainer before he asked, “When are we going to have days off?” Upon hearing Pavel Datsyuk never needed a day off, Kuznetsov decided he didn’t either.

As the Washington Capitals forward works on his own game to regain the scoring touch he flashed for the majority of last season, he is again reminded to model himself after Datsyuk, the longtime Detroit Red Wings center who retired from the NHL this year.

“I always use the term, ‘Play a little more like Pavel Datsyuk,’” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said. “Pavel Datsyuk has maybe the highest skill level that we’ve seen in this league and up there with anybody in the league, but you wouldn’t know it the way he plays because he plays with sort of that blue-collar mentality. I know there’s a connection between Kuzy and Datsyuk, so I always use that term for visual for him.”

Said Kuznetsov: “Trying to copy Pavel, you will have same chances like walk from here to China without food. For me, it’s like that. So, it’s really tough. But I try to play like he did sometimes on the ice. You know, I’m not alone in the league who’s trying to be like him.”

Khurshudyan continues...

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Articles from practice: Smith out, Howard starts vs. Caps

Updated at 4:17 PM: The Red Wings practiced ahead of tomorrow night's game against the Washington Capitals at the Joe today, tweaking their lines slightly (to Brendan Smith's detriment) and preparing to start Jimmy Howard tomorrow evening. MLive's Ansar Khan Tweeted out the Wings' lineup...

#RedWings power-play units:
Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader, Green-Sproul
& Tatar-Nielsen-Larkin, Mantha, Kronwall

...

Looks like Smith is out on defense:
DeKeyser-Green
Ericsson-Marchenko
Kronwall-Sproul
Smith/Ouellet (extras)

...

#RedWings lines:
Abdelkader-Zetterberg-Nyquist
Larkin-Nielsen-Glendening
Tatar-Sheahan-Mantha
Bertuzzi-Ott-Miller

...

Jimmy Howard will start tomorrow for #RedWings at @Capitals

And here's Khan's practice report:

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Caples: Spitfires, Spirit prepare for ‘Farewell to the Joe’ game on December 4th

From Michigan Hockey's Michael Caples:

The Saginaw Spirit and the Windsor Spitfires held a joint press conference at Joe Louis Arena Thursday morning to discuss their ‘Farewell to the Joe’ game on Dec. 4 at 4 p.m.

The game will serve as the OHL’s last inside the historic hockey building, and it will feature numerous events and tributes for a Sunday full of celebrations as the league says goodbye to The Joe.

“I can tell you from being around our guys and the guys in the locker room know this game is going in, it’s a pretty special deal, not only with this building and it being its last year, the history, the players and the storied organization that the Wings,” said Spencer Carbery, head coach of the Spirit. “That these players are getting to play here, it’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play in an NHL building, in front of a great crowd, such a historic place. They are extremely excited to be able to have the honor of playing in this city. For a majority, it’s once-in-a-lifetime; they’ll never get another opportunity to do this after December 4.”

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Ken Kal on the IR

From the Free Press's George Sipple and the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan:

Thankfully the Wings are in good hands with Kaser behind the mic.

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.

 

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