Series (Game 1 of 1)

Detroit leads 1-0

Game 1: Friday, December 9th
Red Wings4Final

Red Wings 4

(20-8-2, 42 pts)

Capitals 3

(9-17-2, 20 pts)

7:00 PM ET, December 9, 2005

Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia

1 2 3 T
DET 1 1 24
WSH 1 1 13

H. Zetterberg (Red Wings - LW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

N. Lidstrom (Red Wings - D): Goals: 1, Assists: 2

M. Pettinger (Capitals - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Detroit (19-8-2) at Washington (9-16-2) 7:00 pm EST

Detroit (19-8-2) at Washington (9-16-2) 7:00 pm EST

WASHINGTON (Ticker) - The Washington Capitals sure could use Robert Lang right about now.

Nearly two years after being traded by the Capitals to the Detroit Red Wings, Lang makes his return to the nation's capital Friday.

In two seasons with Washington, Lang collected 51 goals and 92 assists in 145 games before he was shipped to Detroit on February 27, 2004 for Tomas Fleischmann and two draft picks.

Lang - who is suffering through a groin injury - has eight goals and 16 assists in 26 games this season. Meanwhile, Fleischmann is playing for Washington's American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey.

Since starting the season with a 12-1 record, Detroit has gone 7-7-2 in its last 16 games. The Red Wings are coming off a 5-2 victory vs. New Jersey on Tuesday behind two goals from Brendan Shanahan.

Captain Steve Yzerman, who scored the final goal of the game, needs one assist to tie Red Wing great Gordie Howe (1,049) for seventh on the all-time list.

Meanwhile, Washington has struggled offensive without Lang, managing just 74 goals in 27 games.

The Capitals lost for the sixth time in seven games Wednesday, dropping a 5-2 decision to Nashville. Ben Clymer and rookie sensation Alexander Ovechkin scored for Washington, which has scored two goals or fewer in four of its last five contests.

Detroit has won each of its last two visits to Washington, including a 5-1 triumph on December 13, 2003 behind two goals and two assists from Pavel Datsyuk.