7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena
TV: Fox Sports Detroit
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Oilers Blog: The Copper & Blue
The Oilers are one of those teams that don't really get your emotions going. They're a young team that is fun to see if you're looking to watch a random hockey game, but that's about it really. Edmonton is team the Red Wings should beat. Does it mean they will? Of course not. They have the ability to steal a game and with the way the up and down Wings' season has gone it wouldn't surprise me one bit to see Detroit lose. Ultimately though, I expect an entertaining hockey game tonight. Hopefully the Wings can take advantage of the average Oilers defense. The Wings should do everything in their power to keep the game 5-on-5 too. Edmonton is top eight in both specialty teams categories. Regardless of the odd man situation, on paper, they're better than Detroit.
The Wings lineup should remain relatively unchanged tonight. Pavel Datsyuk will still be centering Daniel Cleary and Justin Abdelkader. The other three lines will remain intact. I hope the Wings D pairs stay together too. This team is starting to get it together on the blueline and I think sticking with the current status quo is the best way to build upon that. The Wings are nearing the top ten in the league in goals allowed per game which is a tremendous improvement from where they were less than a month ago. Now is the time to start gelling and building more chemistry in order to solidify a spot among the top eight in the Western Conference.
The Expected Lineup
Damien Brunner - Henrik Zetterberg - Johan Franzen
Daniel Cleary - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader
Drew Miller - Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo
Tomas Tatar - Joakim Andersson - Patrick Eaves
Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey - Brendan Smith
Brian Lashoff - Jakub Kindl
Jimmy Howard (starting)
Scratches: Kent Huskins and Ian White
Injuries: Valtteri Filppula (shoulder), Mikael Samuelsson (finger), Todd Bertuzzi (back), Darren Helm (back) and Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder)
|Oilers||THE MATCH-UP||RED WINGS|
|8-9-5 (21 pts; 13th in West)||Record||11-8-4 (26 pts; 6th in West)|
|2.36 (24th in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.65 (18th in NHL)|
|2.73 (15th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.56 (12th)|
|20.8% (8th)||Power Play %||14.9% (23rd)|
|85.4% (6th)||Penalty Kill %||77.5% (24th)|
|Ales Hemsky (8 goals)||Goal Leader||Damien Brunner (10 goals)|
|Sam Gagner (21 points)||Points Leader||Henrik Zetterberg (25 points)|
- The Red Wings are 57-36-13-11 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Edmonton Oilers.
- Edmonton has lost three straight games. In each game the opposing team has finish with a 4 in the goal column. That means the Wings just need to score 4 goals and they'll win.
- The Wings are 2-1-0 on Thursday nights this season. Both Thursday victories have come on the road. The lone loss was at home to the Blue Jackets.
- The last time these two teams met was February 9 at the Joe. Detroit snuck away with a 2-1 win. All three goals were scored on the power play. Datsyuk and Kronwall scored for the Wings.
- Detroit is 4-4-2 in their last 10 games. Edmonton is 3-5-2.
- Howard is 7-1-2 with a 2.16 GAA and .919 SV% with a shutout in 10 career starts against the Oilers.