Morning Skate: Kings at Red Wings Preview

Stephen Dunn

Game 48

7:00p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Kings blogs: Jewels From the Crown & The Royal Half

Ok.

So initially I was going to do this big whole in-depth thing where I talked about all the things the Red Wings needed to do in order to turn things around and get on a hot streak. It was going to be researched and well-thought out and all the things you'd expect from this blog but ultimately not get.

Instead, I'm sitting in a hotel room just outside of Detroit, reflecting on the fact that I am going to be going to my first Wing game at the Joe in almost 2 years. I've only been to the Joe twice, but as a guy who has grown up being the "away fan", having the opportunity to be among fellow Wing fans is far more important than what Todd Bertuzzi and Gustav Nyquist need to do to break out of scoring slumps.

I'll keep this short and sweet: I want the Red Wings to win, obviously, but more than anything else, I want the Wings to score a goal. Just one. I want to jump out of my seat while screaming at the top of my lungs, hearing the goal horn while I hug my brother-in-law (a gigantic Wing fan who is making his first ever trip to the Joe), then turn and high five total strangers because the hockey players that we love so dearly made us happy, even if it was for the fewest of seconds.

We all want the Wings to win. But for the love of all things holy, I just want the Wings to score a damn goal.

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Defensemen

Goaltenders

Scratches: Mikael Samuelsson

Injuries: Pavel Datsyuk (lower body groin), Johan Franzen (brain groin), Darren Helm (entire body groin), Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Jonathan Ericsson (rib groins), Daniel Alfredsson (back groin), Stephen Weiss (hernia groin), Red Wing fans (heart)

Kings

THE MATCH-UP

RED WINGS

29-14-5 (63 pts; 3rd in Pacific)

Record

20-17-10 (50 pts; 6th in Atlantic)

2.46 (22nd in NHL)

Goals Per Game

2.49 (21st in NHL)

1.96 (1st)

Goals Against Per Game

2.57 (14th)

14.2% (26th)

Power Play %

16.5% (22nd)

85.0% (6th)

Penalty Kill %

85.3% (7th)

Jeff Carter (17 goals)

Goal Leader

Pavel Datsyuk (15 goals)

Anze Kopitar (39 points)

Points Leader

Henrik Zetterberg (36 points)

Opponent Outlook:

Player to fear: This has to be Jonathan Quick because he's a goalie and the Wings haven't scored a goal since Dan Cleary beat Quick late in the game a week ago, and Quick is pretty good.

X-factor: Kopitar was very quiet against the Wings the first time these teams matched up. He's got the skill and size that seem to give the Wings fits.

Familiar Faces: None

Thumbs Up (Things to like about Los Angeles): They've knocked the Blues out of the playoffs two years in a row.

Thumbs down (Things to not like about Los Angeles): Their football team.

Bullets of Knowledge:

  • The Red Wings are 83-79-27-2 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Kings
  • Last 10 games: Kings 4-5-1, Red Wings 4-5-1
  • Howard is 8-6-0 with a 2.44 GAA and .925 SV% all-time vs the Kings. In the first meeting between these two teams, he stopped 44 of 45 shots in a 3-1 victory.
Prediction:
The Wings won't win if they don't score a goal.
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