The injuries are piling up, but the Red Wings continue to fight. We all know who isn't playing tonight. That can't be of any concern to those on the ice though. The Wings need to keep pace with the Canucks and get back on top of the Western Conference.
Tonight's game has to be about defense. Detroit welcomes in a Kings team that has struggled to score all season long. They're second to last in goals per game. The focus needs to be on keeping the puck of Detroit's net. Take away scoring chances, block shots, backcheck...do whatever you need to do in order to protect Joey MacDonald and give him one of the easiest games of the season.
The magic number is two. In 31 of their 36 losses this season the Kings have scored two goals or less. If the Wings can hold L.A. to that, well, that's the recipe for victory. There is still enough offense on the Wings to get them to two or three goals. They have to be responsible in their own end.
The race for the playoffs doesn't wait for the wounded. There are two points on the line and other teams don't care if the Wings are hurt. Everyone needs points and it should be a dog fight. The Kings want to finished 8th. The Wings want to finish 1st. Someone has to get the win tonight and will get one step closer to their postseason goal.
Jewels From The Crown is your SBNaton Kings' blog.
Puck drop is just after 7:30p ET on Fox Sports Detroit.
The Expected Lineup
Valtteri Filppula -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Jiri Hudler
Johan Franzen -- Darren Helm -- Drew Miller
Danny Cleary -- Justin Abdelkader -- Gustav Nyquist
Jan Mursak -- Cory Emmerton -- Tomas Holmstrom
Niklas Kronwall -- Brad Stuart
Kyle Quincey -- Ian White
Brendan Smith -- Doug Janik
Joey MacDonald (starting)
Injuries: Patrick Eaves (concussion), Pavel Datsyuk (knee), Nicklas Lidstrom (ankle), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Todd Bertuzzi (groin), Jimmy Howard (groin) and Jakub Kindl (upper body)
***The Wings have called up Joakim Andersson after news broke that Justin Abdelkader has the flu and is a game-time decision.
|KINGS||HOW THEY MATCH UP||RED WINGS|
|31-24-12 (74 pts; 9th in West)||Record||43-21-3 (89 pts; 4th in West)|
|2.15 (29th)||Goals Per Game||3.04 (4th in NHL)|
|2.08 (3rd)||Goals Against Per Game||2.30 (4th)|
|16.2% (22nd)||Power Play %||16.6% (16th)|
|87.8% (4th)||Penalty Kill %||82.2% (15th)|
|Anze Kopitar (20 goals)||Goal Leader||Johan Franzen (25 goals)|
|Anze Kopitar (57 points)||Points Leader||Pavel Datsyuk (59 points)|
- The Red Wings are 79-77-27-2 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Los Angeles Kings franchise.
- The Kings have an awful power play and a really good PK. What does that mean? Well, it means that the Kings will somehow score a power play goal tonight and the Wings will continue to blow with the man advantage.
- The last time these two teams played it was an 8-2 blowout win for the Wings at the Joe. Kronwall (2G, 2A) and Holmstrom (4A) lead the Wings with four points each against the Kings this season.
- This will be Joey MacDonald's first career start against the Kings. Across the sheet, Jonathan Quick is 5-8-0 all-time against the Wings with a 3.19 GAA, .904 SV%, and one shutout.
- The Kings have scored four goals our more in four of the six games they've played since acquiring Jeff Carter. They won all four of those games. Not bad for one of the crappiest offenses in the league.
Prediction: This is a game that the Wings badly need to win. They're falling behind the Canucks in the standings and the Predators aren't far behind them. Detroit picks up the badly needs points in a 4-2 win. Henrik Zetterberg is your player of the game.
Let's Go Red Wings.