Morning Skate: Devils at Red Wings Preview

Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Game 63

7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, RDS2

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Devils Blog: In Lou We Trust

Now that the celebration has ended and the perfect hangover has passed, the Red Wings get a chance to get right back at it tonight at the Joe. I wouldn't call this game a "must win," but it's just about as close to as you can get without using that term. Does the season hang in the balance tonight? No. There is still a bit of wiggle room, but, my goodness, is that wiggle room getting much smaller by the day. Two points tonight would be huge. The Wings are catching the rest of the pack when it comes to games played and they can't let anymore points slip through their fingers.

So where are we now? The second night of a back-to-back against the team that just beat you three nights ago. I was really drunk in Newark watching the game in person on Tuesday night, but in my professional opinion, the Red Wings should have beaten the Devils and won that game. We know the challenge is there still, regardless of the opponent. The players, I would hope, know that too. Every point is extremely crucial. The Wings need to use tonight as a launching pad to string together 3-4 straight wins. That would be massive. Otherwise, it's time to start seriously thinking about a top ten draft pick (and, let's be honest, that might not be the worst thing in the world).

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Johan Franzen David Legwand Gustav Nyquist
Justin Abdelkader Luke Glendening Daniel Alfredsson
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Tomas Jurco
Drew Miller Joakim Andersson Todd Bertuzzi

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey Danny DeKeyser
Jakub Kindl Brendan Smith

Goaltenders

Jonas Gustavsson (starting)
Jimmy Howard


Scratches: Brian LashoffDaniel Cleary & Teemu Pulkkinen

Injuries: Darren Helm (concussion), Pavel Datsyuk (missing zest), Henrik Zetterberg (back), Mikael Samuelsson (something) & Stephen Weiss (groin)

DEVILS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
27-23-13 (67 pts; 6th in Metro) Record 28-22-13 (69 pts; 5th in Atlantic)
2.41 (23rd in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.58 (18th in NHL)
2.35 (4th) Goals Against Per Game 2.64 (15th)
20.8% (8th) Power Play % 18.0% (17th)
87.1% (1st) Penalty Kill % 83.6% (8th)
2 tied with 19 goals Goal Leader Henrik Zetterberg (16 goals)
Jaromir Jagr (53 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (48 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Adam Henrique. He's playing well lately.

X-Factor: Cory Schneider. He's better than Martin Brodeur. With that said, throw some pads on me and I'm better than Brodeur too.

Familiar Faces: Still Damien Brunner (Still Click Here)

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About New Jersey): I still like Jagr.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About New Jersey): Tuesday.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 41-36-11-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Devils.

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

  • Gustavsson is 4-1-0 with a 2.60 GAA, .901 SV% in 7 career games against New Jersey.

Prediction: The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist.

Let's Go Red Wings.
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