Morning Skate: Red Wings at Stars Preview

Seguin with a poor defensive effort. - Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Game 43

8p ET, American Airlines Center

Dallas, TX

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Stars Blog: Defending Big D

This is kind of an important game tonight. The Red Wings can finally put the Winter Classic distractions behind them and, hopefully, get back to business. The team heads to Dallas to take on a Stars team that is good. At least they're as good as the Wings, if not better. They're record is better and they play against much better competition every night. So yeah… tonight isn't a cupcake. Then again, is there ever a cupcake with this team?

Tonight is as close to a must win as it gets without literally being a must win game. Two points are needed big time. The Wings head out west next week against the Sharks, Kings and Ducks. Afterwards they come back home to play the Rangers, Kings again, Blues, Blackhawks and Canadiens. So yeah… brutal January schedule. The Stars are the easiest opponent in the next month. Must get two points tonight. Absolute must.

The next three weeks could very well make or break the Red Wings season. Are you as terrified as I am?

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Todd Bertuzzi Pavel Datsyuk Justin Abdelkader
Gustav Nyquist Henrik Zetterberg Daniel Alfredsson
Tomas Tatar Joakim Andersson Drew Miller
Daniel Cleary Luke Glendening Patrick Eaves

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Brendan Smith
Kyle Quincey Alexey Marchenko
Brian Lashoff Jakub Kindl

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Mikael Samuelsson

Injuries: Darren Helm (groin), Johan Franzen (concussed groin) & Danny DeKeyser (groin)

LTIR: Stephen Weiss (groin)

STARS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
20-13-7 (47 pts; 4th in Central) Record 18-14-10 (46 pts; 5th in Atlantic)
2.90 (8th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.57 (17th in NHL)
2.88 (21st) Goals Against Per Game 2.69 (16th)
13.1% (28th) Power Play % 18.7% (12th)
80.7% (19th) Penalty Kill % 84.6% (7th)
Tyler Seguin (21 goals) Goal Leader Pavel Datsyuk (15 goals)
Tyler Seguin (41 pts, but he's -5 in his last 3 gms) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (34 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Jamie Benn.

X-Factor: Tyler Seguin.

Familiar Faces: Jim Nill and Ray Whitney.

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Dallas): Sweet colored sweaters.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Dallas): Jerry Jones.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 109-97-34-6 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Stars.

  • Last 10 games: Dallas 6-2-2. Detroit 3-5-2.

  • The Wings are currently 4-5-3 on Saturdays.

  • Howard is 6-5-2 with a 2.30 GAA, .916 SV% and one shutout in 13 career games against Dallas.

Prediction: Don't mess with Texas.

Let's Go Red Wings.
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