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Gameday Updates: Lightning at Red Wings

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No, really, who's going to be the Wings' second line center tonight?

Who IS this guy?! What does he WANT?!
Who IS this guy?! What does he WANT?!
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

What's-his-face and that Steve guy's team are in Detroit tonight for what apparently qualifies as a "divisional matchup." It's like NBCSN's "Rivalry Night" that way.

Red Wings

  • The news you've all been waiting for: Darren Helm will get the start at second line center tonight. Mike Babcock has one caveat on that:
    I looked on the sheet and Fil plays 18-plus minutes. Is (Helm) going to play 18-plus minutes? No. So we’ll have to have committee.
    I'm honestly terrified of doing a second line center by committee, but I'm also unable to come up with better options except hoping and praying. Remember when this team had 20 million centers who just all moved to wing instead?
  • With Franzen still out, Tomas Tatar will slot in on the second line wing with Helm and Daniel Alfredsson. Alfredsson's got plenty of smarts (and speed of his own) to keep up with what will hopefully be a fast combo of Helm and Tatar.
  • The Red Wings would probably do well to sign Osgood to a one-day contract every time the Red Wings play the Tampa Bay Lightning. Part of the reason Detroit is 25-5-2 all time against Tampa is Osgood's 17-0-0 record against the Lightning.

Red Wings' lines

Forwards

Henrik Zetterberg
Pavel Datsyuk
Todd Bertuzzi
Tomas Tatar
Darren Helm
Daniel Alfresson
Drew Miller
Joakim Andersson
Justin Abdelkader
Daniel Cleary
Luke Glendening
Patrick Eaves

Scratches: Mikael Samuelsson, Jordin Tootoo

Defense

Niklas Kronwall
Danny DeKeyser
Brian Lashoff
Jakub Kindl
Kyle Quincey
Xavier Ouellet

Goaltending

Jimmy Howard
Jonas Gustavsson

Lightning

  • After starting the season with 9 of their first 15 games at home (including a 7-game homestand), the Lightning start a three-game road trip in Detroit. They'll be playing 7 of their next 8 away from the Tampa Bay Times Forum.
  • Looking at the all-time matchup from the Lightning perspective is not pretty: 1-13-0 at Joe Louis Arena with 1 tie.
  • Ben Bishop will get the start in net for Tampa.

Lightning's projected lines

Forwards

Alex Killorn
Steven Stamkos
Martin St. Louis
Ryan Malone
Valtteri Filppula
Teddy Purcell
Ondrej Palat
Tyler Johnson
Richard Panik
Brett Connolly
Nate Thompson
B.J. Crombeen

Defense

Matt Carle
Radko Gudas
Sami Salo
Viktor Hedman
Mark Barberio
Eric Brewer

Goaltending

Ben Bishop
Anders Lindback

There's a potential early season division lead at stake tonight (unless the Toronto Maple Leafs screw it up), but I'm already ready for the doomsayers to call the season over and hear more teeth-gnashing if we lose tonight. Please win tonight, Red Wings. Just. Win.

LET'S GO RED WINGS!!