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Morning Skate: Red Wings at Blue Jackets Preview

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Game 72

7:30p ET, Nationwide Arena

Columbus, OH

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NBCSN, TSN2

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Jackets Blog: The Cannon

Crazy how much a difference a week makes. Just like that the Red Wings went from being on the outside looking in to being in the driver seat. Us fans went from talking top 10 draft picks to first round match-ups. But let's not count our eggs before they hatch. We witnessed how fast things can change. As fast as the Wings climbed, they could fall even quicker.

Nothing is clinched.

Nothing is set in stone.

Nothing is guaranteed.

Two weeks ago the Red Wings got blown away by the Blue Jackets in Columbus. It was a 4-1 final. A catastrophic 3rd period for Detroit. That period alone shows just how quickly things can fall apart. The Wings have to continue to be at their best with their depleted roster. We've seen everything turn our way and fall perfectly into place. The Maple Leafs have fallen. Regulation games everywhere. Pretty much everything the Wings have needed to happen the last week… did happen. It's not always going to feel so easy. There's still more mountain to climb. There's still more battles to conquer. There's still more points that need to be won.

Two teams enter the rink tonight desperate for a win.

Only one team can leave with two points.

The Expected Lineup

Forwards

Johan Franzen David Legwand Daniel Alfredsson
Tomas Tatar Riley Sheahan Gustav Nyquist
Drew Miller Luke Glendening Darren Helm
Joakim Andersson Cory Emmerton Todd Bertuzzi

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Brendan Smith
Kyle Quincey Danny DeKeyser
Brian Lashoff Jakub Kindl

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Jonas Gustavsson


Scratches: Mitch Callahan

Injuries: Jonathan Ericsson (finger), Justin Abdelkader (cut leg), Tomas Jurco (ribs), Daniel Cleary (knee), Pavel Datsyuk (zest), Stephen Weiss (groin), Henrik Zetterberg (back) & Mikael Samuelsson (who cares)

BLUE JACKETS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
36-29-6 (78 pts; 4th in WC Race) Record 33-24-14 (80 pts; 1st in WC Race)
2.75 (14th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.59 (19th in NHL)
2.70 (15th) Goals Against Per Game 2.70 (16th)
16.8% (18th) Power Play % 18.1% (17th)
81.9% (16th) Penalty Kill % 83.5% (11th)
Ryan Johansen (27 goals) Goal Leader Gustav Nyquist (23 goals)
Ryan Johansen (52 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (48 points)

Opponent Outlook

Player to Fear: Sergei Bobrovsky.

X-Factor: Nathan Horton.

Familiar Faces: None

Thumbs up (One Thing to Like About Columbus): They supposedly have a nice zoo.

Thumbs down (One Thing to Dislike About Columbus): Home of Ohio State.

Bullets of Knowledge

  • The Red Wings are 51-17-1-7 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Blue Jackets.

  • Last 10 games: Columbus 5-4-1. Detroit 5-3-2.

  • Howard is 10-3-2 with a 2.00 GAA, .926 SV% with 1 shutout in 17 career apperances against Columbus.

Prediction: Kicked in the buckeyes.

Let's Go Red Wings.