Morning Skate: Ducks at Red Wings Preview

Dave Sandford

7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Ducks Blog: Anaheim Calling and Battle of California

Detroit Red Wings Tickets

Now this is a game I can get behind.

Enough with the Blues. Enough with the Blue Jackets. Enough with the Stars. How about a team that I really love to hate?

Welcome back, Anaheim. We missed you as a real team and a real rival. I truly believe every Red Wings' season is better if the Anaheim Ducks are a good team. The Ducks are a team that I love to hate. I love to dislike the talented, but whiny Teemu Selanne. I love to make fun at Ryan Getzlaf's ugliness. I love that I still get annoyed at Corey Perry's douchiness.

So far this season the Ducks are back to being relevant in the NHL. After finishing 13th in the West a season ago, Anaheim currently sits in 2nd place of the entire league. They're being led by Selanne, a rejuvenated Saku Koivu and the always rumored to be traded Bobby Ryan. At 9-2-1, the Ducks are no joke, especially in a shortened season. This game will be a real test for both squads. The Red Wings will be looking to measure themselves up against a team they're looking up at in the standings. The Ducks know they'll get a challenge from a rival and will want to take another step in proving their hot start is not a fluke.

It's status quo for Detroit on the injury front. Johan Franzen remains out with his hip flexor injury. Todd Bertuzzi and Darren Helm are still nursing their backs together. Mikael Samuelsson is close to a return, but it won't be tonight. Jimmy Howard will make his 4th straight start and hopefully he and the team are rested enough to rebound from from their lackluster performance against St. Louis. We know Jimmy doesn't like the Ducks. We know Pavel Datsyuk doesn't like the Ducks. We know Mike Babcock always wants to beat his former team. Here's to a new chapter of hate beginning between these two teams.

The Expected Lineup

Damien Brunner - Henrik Zetterberg - Justin Abdelkader

Daniel Cleary - Valtteri Filppula - Pavel Datsyuk

Tomas Tatar - Joakim Andersson - Patrick Eaves

Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

*

Niklas Kronwall - Brian Lashoff

Ian White - Jonathan Ericsson

Jakub Kindl - Kyle Quincey

*

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Kent Huskins

Injuries: Johan Franzen (hip), Todd Bertuzzi (back), Brendan Smith (shoulder), Darren Helm (back), Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder), Mikael Samuelsson (groin) and Jan Mursak (shoulder)

DUCKS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
9-2-1 (19 pts; 2nd in West) Record 7-4-2 (16 pts; 6th in West)
3.25 (3rd in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.69 (T-14th in NHL)
2.67 (T-16th) Goals Against Per Game 2.77 (18th)
23/1% (7th) Power Play % 13.8% (25th)
69.6% (29th) Penalty Kill % 73.3% (26th)
Daniel Winnik (5 goals) Goal Leader 2 tied with 6 goals
Teemu Selanne (14 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (18 points)

  • The Red Wings are 46-17-7-2 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Anaheim Ducks.
  • The Ducks have won two in a row. Both victories have come the way of the shootout.
  • Last time these two teams squared off was March 14, 2012. The Ducks won 4-0 behind two goals from Kyle Palmieri and one each from Selanne and Ryan. Joey MacDonald was in net for the Red Wings. Zetterberg led the way with 8 shots. There was no Nicklas Lidstrom in this game and Doug Janik was on the ice. That pretty much explains the end result.
  • Detroit is 3-1-0 against the Ducks last season. They were shut out once (see above), shut Anaheim out once (5-0) and took home a shootout win (2-1).
  • Howard is 7-2-1 with a 2.00 GAA and .930 SV% with 3 shutouts in 10 career starts against the Ducks. Jimmy enjoys facing Anaheim and his numbers prove that.
Prediction: Detroit wins 3-2. Jimmy Howard is your player of the game.

Let's Go Red Wings.
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