Caps aim to rebound against visiting Wings

( - The Washington Capitals will try to rebound from their first loss of 2015 when they host the Detroit Red Wings in Saturday's clash at Verizon Center.

Washington began the new calendar year on a three-game winning streak, but that run was halted with Thursday's overtime loss in Philadelphia. The OT setback did allow the Capitals to extend their point streak to six games (4-0-2) and Barry Trotz's club still boasts an 11-1-4 record over its last 16 games.

The Caps held leads of 1-0 and 2-1 in Philadelphia, but the Flyers eventually won the contest 3-2 on Jakub Voracek's OT goal.

Washington went ahead 2-1 on Nicklas Backstrom's deflection goal at 3:08 of the third period, but R.J. Umberger tied it back up for Philly just 1:18 later.

After Caps defenseman Matt Niskanen was sent off for hooking at 1:11 of OT, Voracek beat Braden Holtby from the left circle to award the extra point to the Flyers.

Alex Ovechkin and Karl Alzner scored for the Capitals, who were coming off a 6-2 win in Toronto on Wednesday. Holtby ended up with 30 saves in defeat.

"It's always tough to lose, no matter how you lose, said Backstrom. "We wanted two points, but we only got one."

The OT loss combined with the New York Rangers' win in Los Angeles dropped the Capitals into the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Caps and Rangers are tied at 50 points for third place in the Metropolitan Division, but New York holds the current tiebreaker due to having played two fewer games.

Washington will aim for a fifth straight win as the host when it opens a three-game homestand tonight. The Caps are just 9-5-4 in D.C. this season and lost a home decision against the Red Wings earlier in this campaign.

Detroit had lost four straight at Verizon Center before notching a 4-2 win over the Caps back on Oct. 29. It was the second win in three meetings overall for the Red Wings.

The Wings enter tonight on a two-game win streak after beginning a six-game road trip with a loss in Vancouver. Detroit's latest victory came Wednesday in Calgary, as Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader each posted a goal and an assist to lead the Red Wings to the 3-2 win at the Saddledome.

Riley Sheahan had the other goal and Petr Mrazek stopped 28 shots for the Red Wings, who have won three of their last four and are still holding onto third place in the Atlantic Division.

"It's nice to get a goal, but it's nice to get a win," said Zetterberg. "We played the way we wanted to and won the last two games."

Johan Franzen missed Wednesday's game with an upper-body injury and has been placed on injured reserve. Detroit forward Tomas Jurco also sat out the game with a back injury and is questionable for tonight.

Jimmy Howard is expected to start in net tonight for Detroit and he owns a 3-1-2 record and 3.23 goals against average in his career against Washington.

Holtby could see his 18th straight start in net for the Caps. He is 2-1-0 with a 3.27 GAA in three lifetime outings versus the Red Wings.