Morning Skate: Survival Mode

If Sunday was about opportunities, then tonight is all about survival.

The Red Wings, right now, are the walking skating wounded. Everywhere you turn someone else is getting injured. Forwards, defensemen, goalies...no one is safe. Tonight will be interesting to see what kind of team shows up wearing red and white. Will we see a team that feels sorry for itself and uses the excuse of missing key players as a reason for half-assing it on the ice and losing to Philly? Or will we see a team that has it's back up against the wall, knows it's facing an up-hill challenge, and fights like hell anyway?

It's going to have to be a blue collar type of effort tonight. With so many keys players out, there is no way the Wings will win a skill match up against Philly. There's going to be a lot less puck possession and a lot more dump and chase. The Wings have to out-work the Flyers. Dig deep in the corners. Hit them every chance they get. It's going to have to be a grind it out affair. Detroit can't win this game in a shootout. It can't be 4-3 or 5-4. It's got to be about defense first. Protect your goalie, block shots, clear the front of the net...do whatever you have to do to keep the puck from crossing your own goal line. Back to the basics.

The race for the playoffs doesn't stop. No one in the West feels sorry for the Red Wings and no one is going to wait around for them to get healthy. Other teams smell blood in the water and will attack. Detroit needs to be ready. The Wings need to do what they can to survive and keep pace with the Canucks, Blues, and Predators. It's going to be a tough two points to collect tonight, but those two points will go a very long way if the Wings can pick them up.

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Broad Street Hockey is your SBNation Flyers' blog.

Puck drop is just after 7p ET on Fox Sports Detroit.

The Expected Lineup

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Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Jiri Hudler

Johan Franzen -- Darren Helm -- Drew Miller

Danny Cleary -- Justin Abdelkader -- Chris Conner

Jan Mursak -- Cory Emmerton -- Tomas Holmstrom

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Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart

Kyle Quincey -- Ian White

Brendan Smith -- Doug Janik

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Joey MacDonald (starting)

Jordan Pearce

Scratches: none

Injuries: Patrick Eaves (concussion), Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Nicklas Lidstrom (ankle), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Todd Bertuzzi (groin), Jakub Kindl (upper body) and Jimmy Howard (groin)

RED WINGS

HOW THEY MATCH UP

FLYERS

43-20-3 (89 pts; 4th in West)

Record

36-21-7 (79 pts; 5th in East)

3.06 (5th in NHL)

Goals Per Game

3.25 (1st in NHL)

2.29 (4th)

Goals Against Per Game

2.91 (23rd)

16.9% (15th)

Power Play %

19.8% (6th)

82.1% (15th)

Penalty Kill %

80.9% (22nd)

Johan Franzen (24 goals)

Goal Leader

Scott Hartnell (31 goals)

Pavel Datsyuk (59 points)

Points Leader

Claude Giroux (75 points)

  • The Red Wings are 47-55-21-0 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Philadelphia Flyers franchise.
  • The Flyers are also dealing with tons of injuries. Other than losing Chris Pronger for the season, James van Riemsdyk, Kimmo Timonen, and Andrej Meszaros are all expected to be out tonight.
  • This will be the second start against the Flyers this season for Joey MacDonald. He's 1-4-1 all-time against Philly with a 3.47 GAA and an .880 SV%. His one win came this year when the Wings beat the Flyers to time the all-time home win streak record. Across the sheet, Ilya Bryzgalov is 8-8-5 all-time against the Wings with a 2.81 GAA and .920 SV%.
  • Philly has win two straight games and three of their last four. They're coming off a 1-0 shutout of the Capitals on Sunday.

Prediction: It's going to be an ugly game. Detroit will grind out a 3-1 win (with an empty netter). Darren Helm will be your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.

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