t might not be a rivalry in the traditional sense, but the Detroit Red Wings and Washington Capitals are two of the better teams in the Eastern Conference, and they’re featured in this week’s Wednesday Night Rivalrygame (8:00 PM ET) on NBCSN. The Red Wings are third in the Atlantic Division at 9-8-1, while the Capitals are second in the Metropolitan at 11-4-1.
Injuries have taken some of the starch out of the Red Wings. Left wing Johan Franzen (concussion), centre Brad Richards (back) and defenseman Kyle Quincey (ankle) are all on injured reserve, while defenseman Brendan Smith (illness) and centre Landon Ferraro (lower body) both missed Monday’s 4-3 overtime victory over the Ottawa Senators (–115 at home).
The Capitals are relatively healthy, save for defenseman Brooks Orpik (lower body), and they’re fifth in the league in scoring at 3.06 goals per game, well ahead of Detroit in 25th place at 2.28 goals per game. Neither team has done particularly well at the other end of the ice, but thanks to Washington’s outstanding puck possession, the Caps are second in the NHL with just 25.2 shots allowed per game. Detroit ranks No. 27 overall at 31.2 shots per game.