Morning Skate: Red Wings at Blackhawks Preview

Brendan Smith's fists #Shawfacts - Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

700p ET, United Center

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Blackhawks Blog: Second City Hockey

Friday was a very nice bounce back game for the Red Wings. They showed the ability to score, take advantage of the power play and had a solid all around game on the defensive end. Now, was everything perfect? No way. But, it was a step in the right direction for the 2013 version of this team.

The Wings now head back on the road and, without question, face their toughest test yet early in this shortened season. Chicago is, statistically, the best team in the NHL right now. They're undefeated with 5 straight wins to open the year. The Hawks are top 10 in all the major team stats too. These two teams are rivals though so it very well may be a case of throwing everything we think we know out the window. It isn't the blood feud the Wings had back in the day with the Avalanche, but Detroit and Chicago always seem to bring the best out of each other. If anything, it should be an entertaining and fun game to watch with all the skill on the ice.

Speaking of skill, the Wings hope to add some more to the blueline. Jonathan Ericsson is a gametime decision for the game. And yes, I did just say that Ericsson has skill. His return to the lineup will help the Wings. If he's back, I would have to imagine Jakub Kindl's return will be short lived. Kent Huskins might be more valuable to the team in a PK role than Kindl would be. Mike Babcock mentioned the other day that Kindl needs to go out on the ice and grab hold of his opportunity. Based off his one game on Friday, well, he still leaves a lot to be desired. The good news is that Darren Helm and Todd Bertuzzi will still be in the lineup after their respective returns. Both provided a huge boost to the forwards and should do the same again tonight.

The Expected Lineup

Johan Franzen - Henrik Zetterberg - Damien Brunner

Valtteri Filppula - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi

Daniel Cleary - Darren Helm - Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

*

Niklas Kronwall - Brian Lashoff

Kyle Quincey - Brendan Smith

Kent Huskins - Jakub Kindl

*

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Thomas McCollum

Scratches: Patrick Eaves

Injuries: Ian White (laceration), Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) and Jan Mursak (shoulder)

Gametime Decisions: Jonathan Ericsson (hip)

RED WINGS THE MATCH-UP BLACKHAWKS
2-2-0 (4 pts; T-8th in West) Record 5-0-0 (10 pts; 1st in NHL)
2.25 (T-22nd in NHL) Goals Per Game 4.00 (3rd in NHL)
3.50 (T-25th) Goals Against Per Game 2.40 (T-10th)
10.0% (26th) Power Play % 25.0% (T-10th)
66.2% (T-27th) Penalty Kill % 94.1% (3rd)
3 tied with 2 goals Goal Leader Marian Hossa (5 goals)
Pavel Datsyuk (6 points) Points Leader Patrick Kane (9 points)

  • The Red Wings are 363-264-84-10 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Chicago Blackhawks.
  • Hossa leads the Hawks in goals and is second on the team in points with seven. Yup.
  • Last time the these two teams squared off Chicago won 3-2 in a shootout on April 7, 2012. Datsyuk and Franzen both scored 3rd period goals to force a 2-2 tie and eventually the skills competition to determine the game. Both Bertuzzi and Datsyuk missed on their shootout attempts and Jiri Hudler was stopped by Corey Crawford. Everyones favorite teletubbie, Riley Sheahan, made his NHL debut.
  • The Wings went 2-3-1 against Chicago last season.
  • Howard is 4-6-2 with a 2.87 GAA and .903 SV% in his career against the Blackhawks. Not the greatest numbers in the world.
Prediction: The Red Wings fall in overtime 4-3. Helm is your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.
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