Morning Skate: Red Wings at Devils Preview

Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE

Game 30

7p ET, Prudential Center

Newark, NJ

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Devils Blog : In Lou We Trust

Goooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood morning Winging It In Motown! It's Friday, which means it's time to go out and have fun with friends sit on your couch at home and watch the Wings!

So Wednesday night's game against the Flyers was a disappointment, and a setback, but fear not because the Wings are about to play a team that is basically a mirror image of themselves.

That's right, meet the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils, like the Wings, can't score goals and rely too much on a few certain players. They're decimated with injuries and stupid contracts against the cap (we have Kyle Quincey, they have Anton Volchenkov), and they cannot seem to win any sort of shootout (they're 0-5 on the season).

However, the Wings played their first game without their two best players for the first time in a long time on Wednesday, and it didn't exactly go as planned.

"We're going to need all of our lines rolling and no one's going to fill the void of Pav and Z by themselves."

-Justin Abdelkader (courtesy of Bob Duff)

Giving up four goals in a third period is a recipe for disaster in any game with any bunch of players. However, the Wings have to use the assets that they have, namely a red hot Johan Franzen, a feisty and point mongering Tomas Tatar, as well as the suddenly amazing goal scoring and walking Head & Shoulders advertisement Darren Helm Todd Bertuzzi.

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Todd Bertuzzi Johan Franzen Gustav Nyquist
Justin Abdelkader Stephen Weiss Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller Joakim Andersson Tomas Tatar
Daniel Cleary Cory Emmerton Mikael Samuelsson

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey Brendan Smith
Brian Lashoff Jakub Kindl

Goaltenders

Jonas Gustavsson (starting)
Jimmy Howard

Scratches: Darren Helm (shoulder)

Injuries: Pavel Datsyuk (concussion), Henrik Zetterberg (back)

LTIR: Danny DeKeyser (shoulder)

DEVILS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
11-12-6 (28 pts; Tied 5th in Metro) Record 14-8-7 (35 pts; 4th in Atlantic)
2.21 (28th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.79 (9th in NHL)
2.28 (8th) Goals Against Per Game 2.59 (15th)
17.0 (18th) Power Play % 20.8 (8th)
87.2 (2nd) Penalty Kill % 84.6 (9th)
Jaromir Jagr (11 goals) Goal Leader Pavel Datsyuk (12 goals)
Jaromir Jagr (22 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (30 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Cory Schneider, because gingers have no souls.

X-Factor: Jaromir Jagr, who is ageless and still extremely good. He has more points than Paul Bissonnette.

Familiar Faces: Damien Brunner, who has basically disappeared from the face of the Earth. Remember when that happened last year? Be glad he's not back in Detroit, because two Danny Clearys are not better than one.

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About New Jersey): How it strives to be better by pretending that it is New York City on Sundays during the fall as well as the Superbowl.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About New Jersey): Everything smells like garbage or Tony Soprano. Seriously, the place is a dump, unless you're in Alpine or Tenafly, which is basically their equivalent to Royal Oak or Bloomfield Hills.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 40-35-11-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Devils.

  • Last 10 games: New Jersey 5-4-1. Detroit 5-3-2.

  • The Wings are currently 3-0-1 on Fridays.

  • Jonas Gustavsson is 3-1-0 in six career games against the Devils.

Prediction: While this game would have been an absolute lock for the Wings to win about a week ago, things might be a little tough without an entire first line. The Devils don't give up many goals, but they also don't score too many either. If the Wings can find a way to put in two to three goals and play basic fundamental and disciplined hockey, this should be a very simple two points.

4-2 Red Wings Win

LGRW.

Don't forget to text KIDS to 85944 to donate $5 to the Children's Hospital of Michigan Foundation. Details/legal stuff here. Remember to follow H2H3 on Twitter as well.
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