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Red Wings vs Penguins: Gameday Updates, Line Combinations, Key Matchups

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

We got some injury news after the Red Wings morning skate today, learning Jonathan Ericsson is ready to play tonight and Jakub Kind will be the healthy scratch. Kyle Quincey and Drew Miller also skated today, but the news I'm most excited about is this

We haven't heard much in the way of updates on Pulkkinen after he suffered a dislocated shoulder on December 3rd. He was projected to miss 6-8 weeks so he's not on the verge of returning, but it's good to hear some progress.

Here's your lineup for tonight's match up against the Penguins.

Line Combinations

Red Wings' Lineup

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader Henrik Zetterberg Dylan Larkin
Brad Richards Pavel Datsyuk Darren Helm
Gustav Nyquist Riley Sheahan Tomas Tatar
Tomas Nosek Luke Glendening Tomas Jurco

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson Danny DeKeyser
Brendan Smith Alexey Marchenko

Goaltenders

Petr Mrazek
Jimmy Howard

Power Play: Unit #1 Zetterberg-Datsyuk-Abdelkader (net front), Nyquist-Kronwall

Unit #2 Tatar-Larkin-Sheahan (net front), Richards-Green

Scratches: Joakim Andersson, Jakub Kindl

Injuries: Johan FranzenTeemu PulkkinenDrew MillerJonathan EricssonKyle Quincey

    Pittsburgh's Expected Lineup

    Forwards

    Chris Kunitz Sidney Crosby Conor Sheary
    David Perron Evgeny Malkin Patric Hornqvist
    Scott Wilson Nick Bonino Phil Kessel
    Kevin Porter Matt Cullen Eric Fehr

    Defensemen

    Olli Maatta Kris Letang
    Brian Dumoulin Ben Lovejoy
    Ian Cole Trevor Daley

    Goaltenders

    Jeff Zatkoff
    Matt Murray

    Fun Facts!

    Red Wings all-time record against Pittsburgh: 65-60-16-4

    Red Wings goals for per game (GF/G) against the Pens: 3.41

    Red Wings goals against per game (GA/G) against the Pens: 3.45

    Key Matchups

    Detroit's struggling defense vs Pittsburgh's top heavy offense

    Pittsburgh's saving grace is that they have a top heavy offense corps of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Phil Kessel. The Wings defense will have a tall order to try and contain those three players, and if the Penguins keep Crosby, Malkin, and Kessel on different lines, no Wings defense pairing will get an "easy" line.

    Detroit's forecheck vs Pittsburgh's defense

    The Penguins don't have a good puck moving defense and if the Red Wings use an aggressive forecheck on them and really turn on the pressure, they should be able to capitalize on Pittsburgh's mistake-prone defensemen. Go after the opponent's weakness, be relentless, force them to make mistakes, then make them pay for them.