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Morning Skate: (Wing)Nuts and Bolts

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The Red Wings head south to Florida for a pair of games in the Sunshine/Retirement state, starting tonight against the Tampa Bay Lightning and continuing tomorrow against the Florida Panthers.

Red Wings fans will see a familiar face in the box for the Lightning and if for some reason you haven't heard yet, that will be the face of The Captain Steve Yzerman. It must be strange for Yzerman to be part of a team that is competing against the Red Wings after he spent his entire NHL career in the winged wheel.

The Red Wings get some good news as Brad Stuart returns to the line-up after having his jaw re-aligned by Tom Kostopoulos on January 7th. Stuart's return to the line-up should help to tighten up the defense as he had been one of the more consistent defenders this season. Stuart will go back to his defensive pairing with Nicklas Lidstrom, a line that will be tested often tonight.

I feel like I would be repeating myself if I go further into detail than I did in the scouting report that I posted yesterday so this will mainly serve as the pre-game thread. 

Raw Charge is the SB Nation Lightning site. 

Form and some brief notes after the jump.

  • Jimmy Howard will start in net tonight. Howard will need to be strong against this potent Tampa Bay attack. That's about it. He's gotta be sharp and make sure to control his rebound against a team that is aggressive in the offensive zone.
  • It will be good to have Brad Stuart back in the line-up after the extended absence. The biggest question is how afraid of contact he is in his first game because physical play is a big part of his game.
  • Get your pledges in, make one for Stevie Y. Like $19 for every RW goal.
  • Mike Modano is trying to return for the February 26th game against Buffalo. Modano returning to the line-up after such a long time out will be good to see both for the team and for the feel good factor.
  • For discussion: Favorite Stevie Y moment?
  • Score Prediction: 4-3 Detroit in OT.
  • Player of the Game Prediction: Brad Stuart. Because hey, why not?