Kuznetsov a question mark as Wings host Caps

DETROIT -- Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov will travel with the team on its three-game road trip, but it is not known whether he will be back in the lineup on the first game of the trip on Thursday against the Detroit Red Wings.

The teams are scheduled to play at Little Caesars Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Kuznetsov missed two games with an upper-body injury after leaving Friday's 6-3 home win over the New York Islanders.

"We'll see where he is with the trainers," Washington coach Barry Trotz told the Washington Post after Wednesday's optional practice. "No promises. And I really don't know. We'll see where he is tomorrow."

Kuznetsov appeared to hurt his left arm on Friday, he was centering the top line with captain Alex Ovechkin and winger Tom Wilson. Without him, center Nicklas Backstrom moved into that spot. Since the start of the calendar year, Kuznetsov has nine goals and 23 assists in 31 games.

The Capitals announced that goaltender Braden Holtby wasn't on the ice for practice Wednesday because he was taking a "maintenance day." Holtby played the full game in Tuesday night's 4-3 win over the Dallas Stars, but Dallas forward Remi Elie collided with Holtby halfway through the third period, and Holtby was initially slow to get up.

Philipp Grubauer is expected to get the start in goal Thursday.

"We've got some sickness and a couple guys with maintenance, so that's why we're optional today," Trotz said.

Also, in the win over Dallas, Ovechkin scored his league-leading 44th goal of the season and 602nd of his career to surpass Jari Kurri for sole possession of 19th place on the NHL's all-time goal-scoring list.

Ovechkin scored on a set play off an offensive zone faceoff. After Backstrom got tossed from the dot, T.J. Oshie won the draw straight back to defenseman John Carlson, who fed the puck to a wide-open Ovechkin, in his usual spot in the left circle, who drove in his signature one-timer.

Detroit snapped a 10-game losing streak, the team's longest since 1977, in a 5-4 home shootout win over the Philadelphia Flyers on Tuesday night.

"Hopefully it takes the monkey off everyone's back and we can just go out there and play the last nine games," said goaltender Jimmy Howard, who made 27 saves. "Compete hard, and have some confidence heading into the offseason."

Center Frans Nielsen scored the only goal of the shootout and center Dylan Larkin scored twice for Detroit. Forward Luke Glendening contributed a short-handed goal and rookie forward Evgeny Svechnikov picked up the first goal of his NHL career.

Coach Jeff Blashill and teammates raved about Glendening's key block of a shot during a penalty kill in overtime that might have saved a goal.

"What a block by Glennie (Glendening) there," Howard said. "He's not a guy who gets talked about but he means so much for this team, means so much in this dressing room."

Said Blashill: "It's an example of the way our guys have continued to battle. I don't know how his foot will end up but it hurt for sure, he was done for the rest of the game, but it's totally indicative of the compete our team continues to have."

Glendening's status for Thursday is unknown.

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