Morning Skate: Hunk Of Burning Love

Wanna regress? Let's drop the gloves and regress right now.

The funny thing about back-to-back games is that the team doesn't have time to sit back and think about what transpired the night before. In the Red Wings' case, this might be a good thing.

The Wings, coming off a fairly lackluster performance against the Canucks last night, fly into Calgary (pronounced Cal-gry for the uninitiated) to take on the Flames. It's a chance to avenge a loss from the previous game at the expense of a team that has been struggling, having won only 1 of its past 5 games.

The interesting thing about the Flames is that they don't inspire a lot of emotions one way or the other among Wing fans, which is surprising considering there is recent playoff history between the two teams. Yet when the Flames and Wings get together, it's typically a tame affair. With realignmnent a year away, the Flames and Red Wings will only meet twice a year instead of the current set up of 4 meetings, and for us, that means 2 less chances to see Jarome Iginla.

For as much as a trainwreck as the Flames have become, Iginla has remained the spark that has kept the Flames alive. In the last 10 games, Iginla has 14 points, and in 2 games against the Wings he's put up 2 goals and 2 assists. He has absolutely torched the Wings through his career, picking up 54 points in 58 games. So, shut down Iginla, shut down the Flames.

Matchsticks and Gasoline is your Flames SB blog. Puck drop is at 9:30 ET.

The Expected Lineup

Johan Franzen -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Todd Bertuzzi

Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Jiri Hudler

Danny Cleary -- Darren Helm -- Drew Miller

Cory Emmerton -- Justin Abdelkader -- Tomas Holmstrom

*

Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jakub Kindl -- Jonathan Ericsson

*

Ty Conklin (starting)

Jimmy Howard

Scratches: Mike Commodore

Injuries: Jan Mursak (ankle), Patrick Eaves (jaw) and Chris Conner (hand)

FLAMES HOW THEY MATCH UP RED WINGS
15-15-4 Record 21-11-1
2.47 (25th) Goals Per Game 3.27 (4th)
2.74 (15th) Goals Against Per Game 2.27 (5th)
16.8% (18th) Power Play % 20.6% (T-4th)
82.4% (17th) Penalty Kill % 81.2% (T20th)
Jarome Iginla (13 goals) Goal Leader Johan Franzen (14 goals)
Olli Jokinen (28 points) Points Leader Pavel Datsyuk (34 points)

  • The Red Wings are 67-61-16-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Flames.
  • The Wings are 4-2-0 on the second half of back-to-back games this year, winning against the Avalanche, Stars, Ducks and Predators, while losing to the Wild and Capitals.
  • After being the streakiest team that ever streaked, the Wings alternated wins and losses last week before winning 2 in a row, but they are now back to losing. Can they get their fans a win for Christmas and avoid yet another losing streak this season?
  • A win against the Flames would once again get the Wings back to .500 on the road (8-9-0).
  • $2678B-man Jay Bouwmeester has a grand total of 1 goal in 34 games for the Flames this year. I can't help but wonder when Flames fans are going to competely turn on this guy.

Prediction: I can't think the taste of that loss last night is sitting well with the Wings, and they are going to want to take out their frustrations on a Flames team that has struggled as of late but who is good at home. Wings win 4-2 and Pavel Datsyuk is your Player of the Game.

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