WASHINGTON -- On home ice, there may be no more dangerous team in the NHL than the Washington Capitals. On Thursday, the Detroit Red Wings will get their shot at trying to slow the league's best squad and its extremely potent offense.
The Capitals have won 10 straight at home and have been bludgeoning opponents while doing so, outscoring its foes 50-12 over the streak. Washington has tallied five or more goals in its last nine home contests, becoming the first team to do so since the Calgary Flames in the 1989-90 campaign.
And, for good measure, the Capitals have posted five shutouts during this run, most recently blanking Carolina 5-0 on Tuesday.
So, it figures to be a tough row to hoe for the banged-up Red Wings, who are amid a tough stretch in which they play three of the league's best teams in a four-day span.
"I think they got a complete game, to be honest with you," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill told the team's website about the Capitals. "The strength of their team is they can create offense without giving a whole bunch up. Last time we were in there, I thought it was a real tight game. Every time that we've played them it's been fairly tight. Obviously, they're on a big-time roll."
While the Capitals' offense draws most of the headlines, the team's defense has been equally as solid, and that has made the Capitals tougher than Washington teams of the past.
"Our D-zone play has generally been pretty good," coach Barry Trotz said after morning skate. We're connecting the dots from all three zones. When we all do our jobs, we all get pretty good results."
While the Capitals have been cruising, the Red Wings come in tied for the fewest points in the Eastern Conference and missing center Frans Nielsen and defenseman Niklas Kronwall due to injury. Blashill noted that Kronwall could return this weekend, but Nielsen is still up the air with a shoulder injury.
The game marks a homecoming for Detroit defenseman Mike Green, who played 10 seasons in Washington before joining the Red Wings prior to the 2015-16 campaign.
"It brings back some memories for sure, especially when we get off the plane and head to the rink, driving through the city," Green told reporters. "It's been fun going back there. Obviously, it'd be a lot more fun if we get a win."
That will be a challenge, especially with Braden Holtby in the net for Washington. In his last 14 games, Holtby has posted a 12-0-0 record with four shutouts, a 1.78 goals-against average and a .935 save percentage, and is tied for the league lead in shutouts with seven.
"Our goalies, all year, have been unbelievable for us," Capitals forward Marcus Johansson said. "It's fun to play right now. The confidence in the group is outstanding. The goaltenders are giving us a chance night-in and night-out and that's a pretty good feeling."