7:30p ET, TD Bank Garden
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, TSN, NBCSN
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
And so, it finally begins. The Wings play the first playoff game of the season for their 23rd straight season. Tonight the Wings take on the Presidents Trophy winners in the first game of a race to 4 wins. The Wings are as healthy as they've been in a while and we actually have a legitimate top six, and a very good bottom six. What's happened thus far in the season means very little.
The Wings have beaten the Bruins three out of four times this season so far and they have to prove it wasn't a fluke or luck. Brendan Smith is going to have to be at his best, Franzen needs to put on his lucky playoff undies, and Mike Babcock is going to continue to put his unparalleled coaching skills on display.
If the Wings can win game 1 in Boston, that's will be huge, not only because of the obvious win, but in terms of confidence for the team. On top of being one of the deepest teams in the league, Boson only lost 10 home games this season. It is encouraging however that the Wing won more road games than home games this season, going 21-15-5 on the road and 18-13-10 at home.
Go into Boston tonight and take this game.
The Expected Wings Lineup
|Gustav Nyquist||Pavel Datsyuk||Justin Abdelkader|
|Johan Franzen||Darren Helm||Daniel Alfredsson|
|Tomas Jurco||Riley Sheahan||Tomas Tatar|
|Drew Miller||David Legwand||Luke Glendening|
|Niklas Kronwall||Brendan Smith|
|Kyle Quincey||Danny DeKeyser|
|Brian Lashoff||Jakub Kindl|
|Jimmy Howard (starting)|
Note: Babcock was switching between the above forward lines, and Franzen - Datsyuk - Abdelkader Nyquist - Sheahan - Tatar Jurco - Helm - Alfredsson Miller - Legwand - Glendening.
Scratches: Todd Bertuzzi & Joakim Andersson
Injuries: Jonathan Ericsson (finger), Daniel Cleary (knee), Stephen Weiss (groin), Henrik Zetterberg (back) & Mikael Samuelsson (dickfingers)
The Expected Bruins Lineup
|Milan Lucic||David Krejci||Jarome Iginla|
|Brad Marchand||Patrice Bergeron||Reilly Smith|
|Chris Kelly||Carl Soderberg||Loui Eriksson|
|Daniel Paille||Gregory Campbell||Shawn Thornton|
|Zdeno Chara||Dougie Hamilton|
|Johnny Boychuk||Matt Bartkowski|
|Torey Krug||Kevan Miller|
|Tuukka Rask (starting)|
Scratches: Jordan Caron, Ryan Spooner, Andrej Meszaros, Corey Potter, Adam McQuaid
|RED WINGS||THE MATCH-UP||BRUINS|
|39-28-115(93 pts; 2nd in WC race)||Record||54-19-9 (117 pts; 1st in NHL)|
|2.65 (16th in NHL)||Goals Per Game||3.15 (13rd in NHL)|
|2.70 (16th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.08 (2nd)|
|17.7% (18th)||Power Play %||21.7% (3rd)|
|83.0% (12th)||Penalty Kill %||83.6% (8th)|
|Gustav Nyquist (28 goals)||Goal Leader||Jarome Iginla (30 goals)|
|Kronwall & Alfredsson (49 points)||Points Leader||David Krejci (69)|
Top Head-To-Head Performers
- Loui Eriksson has 13 goals and 23 points in 30 games against the Wings
- Jarome Iginla has 22 goals and 56 points in 65 games against the Wings
- Patrice Bergeron (12 games), Zdeno Chara (22games), David Krejci (10 games), and Milan Lucic (9 games) all have 5 points against the Wings.
- Daniel Alfredsson has 26 goals and 70 points in 89 career games against the Bruins.
- Pavel Datsyuk has 3 goals and 11 goals in 13 games against the Bruins
- David Legwand has 5 goals and 10 points in 17 games against the Bruins.
Bullets of Knowledge
- The Red Wings are 252-235-95-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Bruins.
- Last 10 games: Boston 5-2-3. Wings 6-3-1
- Rask is 1-4-1 with a 3.51 GAA and .868 SV% in 6 career games against the Wings
- Howard is 4-1-0 with a 2.17 GAA and .934 SV% in 5 career games against the Bruins
Prediction: Jimmy Howard facewashes someone.