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Morning Skate: The Oscar for Best Hockey Team Ever Goes To...

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(...the Red Wings)

After a come-from-behind victory in Buffalo, the Red Wings are in Los Angeles for a west coast showdown with the Kings.  This is the second game of Detroit's five game road trip and the first of four against Pacific Division opponents. 

Once again the Wings will have the services of Mike Modano and Valtteri Filppula, but they will be without Johan Franzen who is home in Michigan and awaiting the birth of his first child.  The world will soon be introduced to Baby Mule.  For the Kings it will be game three of a six game home stand.  They won 4-3 against the Avalanche on Saturday and have won three-in-a-row.  L.A. is currently sitting in 5th place in the West.  They're two points out of 4th and two points ahead of 12th.  Excuse the cliche, but it really is the wild, wild west.

Jewels From The Crown is your SBNation Kings' blog.

More after the jump.

Reminder: The H2H2 Pledge Drive continues through March 5th

 

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The Expected Line-up:

Pavel Datsyuk -- Jiri Hudler -- Danny Cleary
  Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Todd Bertuzzi
Justin Abdelkader -- Mike Modano -- Tomas Holmstrom
Kris Draper -- Darren Helm -- Drew Miller

Nicklas Lidstrom -- Brad Stuart
Niklas Kronwall -- Jonathan Ericsson
Ruslan Salei -- Jakub Kindl
Jimmy Howard (starting)
Joey MacDonald


Healthy scratches: Johan Franzen (giving birth)

Injuries: Patrick Eaves (groin), Brian Rafalski(back spasms), Chris Osgood (groin)


It's very likely that Brian Rafalski will be back in uniform tonight and the defensive pairings will be back to the norm. UPDATE: Rafalski will not play.  With Franzen being out, I imagine either Abby or Miller will move up to the 2nd line with Hank and Bert, while the other will fill in on the 4th line.  Kindl will find himself hanging out in the Leino Lounge.

 

DET
HOW THEY MATCH-UP LA
3.3 (2nd IN NHL)
GOALS PER GAME 2.7 (19th IN NHL)
2.9 (19th) GOAL AGAINST PER GAME 2.4 (4th)
21.2% (5th) POWER PLAY % 17.1% (20th)
81.9% (14th) PENALTY KILL % 84.4% (6th)
Franzen (26 goals) GOAL LEADER Kopitar (20 goals)
Zetterberg (67 points) POINTS LEADER Kopitar (60 points)

 

Other Notable Statistical Information That You Should Know:

  • The Kings are 19-9-1 at home and 25-17-2 against the Western Conference.  Not a bad resume at all, however, they've struggled a bit versus the Central Division and have a 6-9-0 record to show for it.
  • With all that said, the Red Wings are 7-6-2 against Pacific Division teams.  It's the only division in the league that Detroit has a losing record against.
  • Jonathan Quick is 4-5-0 in his career against the Wings.  He boasts a 2.66 GAA and a .919 SV%.  Quick has two wins over Detroit this season, including a shutout.
  • The Red Wings are 0-1-1 against the Kings this season.  They lost in overtime in L.A. thanks to Anze Kopitar and they were shutout 5-0 at the Joe.
  • Detroit is 76-76-27-2 (W-L-T-OTL) all time head-to-head against the Kings.  I think a victory would be nice or else the Kings will become the sixth team in history that the Red Wings have a head-to-head losing record against. 

And the Oscar goes to...

  • Best Actor: Devin Setoguchi for his performance in the 2010 Western Conference semi-finals
  • Best Picture: I'm taking this category too literal and going with this picture.
  • Best Writing: Winging it in Motown takes this one.
  • Best Director: Mike Babcock. Don't mess up your lines or he'll give you the death stare.
  • Best Foreign Language Film: Any Pavel Datsyuk interview.
  • Best Original Song: The TP:60 opening (rap version) by Brandon Langer.

(Submit your best hockey/Red Wings related Oscar winning in the comments)

Prediction:

Wings win 2-1 in a close, entertaining hockey game that sees a full 60 minute effort.  Jiri Hudler is your player of the game.


Let's Go Red Wings.