Morning Skate: It's A Trap! ...Or Is It?

DETROIT MI - FEBRUARY 24: Kari Lehtonen #32 of the Dallas Stars watches the puck next to Tomas Holmstrom #96 of the Detroit Red Wings on February 24 2011 at Joe Lewis Arena in Detroit Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

Which Red Wings team is going to show up tonight?

I'd sure be happy if the one that likes winning at home shows up. The Wings have tied the record for most consecutive wins at home and tonight they have a chance to break said record. Tonight's game could be one of those "trap games." One on hand, you have a not so good Dallas Stars team coming to town that the Wings should beat and should beat by two goals or more. On the other hand, you have a Red Wings team that might still be on a high from tying to the record with a real solid win Sunday night against the Flyers.

Yesterday, Mike Babcock came out and said this was the most consistent team he's ever coach when it comes to giving an effort night in and night out. Tonight the Wings can help prove that as fact with another solid effort from puck drop to the final horn. It would be awesome for the Wings to have the home win streak record all to themselves. But in reality, it really is more important to get two points. The Blues are still only three points back with two games in hand. The Canucks are two points back with one game in hand. The Wings have been on a hell of a roll as of late, but they're not separating themselves from the pack, because, well, the pack is playing damn well too. The race for the playoffs is heating up. Grab those two points, grab some more NHL history, and take one step closer to the number seed and home ice advantage.

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Defending Big D is your SBNation Stars' blog.

Puck drop is just after 7:30p ET on Fox Sports Detroit Plus

The Expected Lineup

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Johan Franzen -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Todd Bertuzzi

Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Jiri Hudler

Justin Abdelkader -- Darren Helm -- Drew Miller

Jan Mursak -- Cory Emmerton -- Tomas Holmstrom

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Nicklas Lidstrom -- Ian White

Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Jonathan Ericsson -- Mike Commodore

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Joey MacDonald (starting)

Ty Conklin

Scratches: Jakub Kindl

Injuries: Patrick Eaves (jaw), Jimmy Howard (finger) and Danny Cleary (knee)

STARS HOW THEY MATCH UP RED WINGS
28-24-3 (59 pts; 11th in West) Record 38-17-2 (78 pts; 1st in NHL)
2.56 (20th in NHL) Goals Per Game 3.07 (4th in NHL)
2.80 (18th) Goals Against Per Game 2.35 (5th)
14.3% (27th) Power Play % 17.8% (14th)
81.0% (22nd) Penalty Kill % 81.1% (20th)
Michael Ryder (21 goals) Goal Leader Johan Franzen (22 goals)
Jamie Benn (49 points) Points Leader Pavel Datsyuk (56 points)

  • The Red Wings are 104-96-34-5 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Minnesota North Stars/Dallas Stars franchise.
  • Detroit is going for their 21st straight win at home, eh? They won 21 game at home all season last year.
  • Stars goalie Kari Lehtonen is 3-4-0 with a 3.45 GAA and .904 SV% all-time against the Red Wings. Joey MacDonald will be starting against the Stars for the first time in his career.
  • It's crazy that the second leading goal scorer at home during the win streak is Kronwall with eight goals.

PLAYER STATISTICS DURING 20-GAME HOME WIN STREAK

GOALS ASSISTS POINTS
Datsyuk 6 19 25
Filppula 7 14 21
Franzen 11
10 21
Zetterberg 7 11 18
Lidstrom 6 10 16
Hudler 4 11 15
Kronwall 8 7 15
White 2 13 15
Bertuzzi 5 9 14
Cleary 2 8 10
Miller 5 5 10
Helm 4 4 8
Holmstrom 5 3 8
Abdelkader
2 4
6
Stuart 1
5 6
Kindl 1 4 5
Emmerton 3 1 4
Ericsson 1 3 4
Conner 1 1 2
Brunnstrom 0 1 1
Eaves 0 1 1

Prediction: Another close game between these two teams. Red Wings win 4-2 thanks to an empty netter. Pavel Datsyuk is your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.

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