Morning Skate: Red Wings at Lightning Preview

Look Ma! 3 hands! - Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Game 58

7:00p ET, Tampa Bay Times Forum

Tampa Bay, FL

TV: Fox Sports Detroit Plus, NHLN-US

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Lightning Blog: Raw Charge


"You've got to love what you're doing. If you love it, you can overcome any handicap or the soreness or all of the aches and pains, and continue to play for a long, long time." - Gordie Howe

I sprained my MCL during a game Wednesday night. While in considerable discomfort Thursday morning, I saw the poster on my refrigerator with that quote from Gordie and had to smile. It's a good reminder that doing what you love, no matter what it is, it worth all the pain, the disappointment, the frustration, and the adversity.

One final game before ten Wings players get on planes, strap on their jet packs, or grab a TARDIS ride over to Sochi for the Olympics. It's not my birthday yet, but it's the last game the Wings will play until after my birthday, so a win would be pretty nice. Hey, they did it for Jeff, right? Actually, forget I said that because I don't think the Wings have ever won a game on or right before/after my birthday.

No Stamkos tonight for the Lightning, and while I'm bummed from a hockey fan perspective, I certainly won't miss him kicking butt against the Wings. The Wings have won their last 2 games. The Lightning have lost their last 2 game. Hey guess what? The Lightning sit in 2nd in the division with only 5 points more than the Wings. It seems kind of crazy because it feels like we've lost a lot of games this season, yet we just keep hanging in there and are right there in the fight for not only a wild card spot, but also for a guaranteed playoff spot. 2 points for the Wings tonight, please.

It's Saturday night, sit back, grab some grub, have beverages of your choice, and watch some Red Wing hockey.


The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Gustav Nyquist Henrik Zetterberg Justin Abdelkader
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Tomas Jurco
Darren Helm Pavel Datsyuk Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller Luke Glendening Joakim Andersson

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey Danny DeKeyser
Brian Lashoff Brendan Smith

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard
Jonas Gustavsson

Scratches: Todd Bertuzzi, Daniel Cleary, Patrick Eaves

Injuries: Johan Franzen (concussion), Jakub Kindl (where JJ's confidence used to hang)

LTIR: Stephen Weiss (groin)


LIGHTNING THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
32-20-5 (69(heh) pts; 2nd in Atlntic) Record 26-19-12 (64 pts; 5th in Atlantic)
2.77 (13th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.54 (19th in NHL)
2.46 (11th) Goals Against Per Game 2.65 (15th)
16.8% (20th) Power Play % 16.8% (21st)
80.2% (24th) Penalty Kill % 83.3% (9th)
Martin St. Louis (25 goals) Goal Leader Henrik Zetterberg (16 goals)
Martin St. Louis (55 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (48 points)


Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Martin St. Louis' legs.

X-Factor: Martin St. Louis. Maybe he'll go easy on us now that he's on team Canada?

Familiar Faces: Valtteri Filppula, but we won't see him because he has a fractured ankle. :(

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Tampa Bay): Tesla Coils!

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Tampa Bay): They have our Steve!

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 25-6-2-2 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Lightning.

  • Last 10 games: Florida 4-5-1. Detroit 6-2-2.

  • Howard is 3-0-1 with a 1.72 GAA, .945 SV% in 50 career games against Tampa.

Prediction: Wings lose because I wrote this (it's only crazy if it doesn't work).

Let's Go Red Wings!!!
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