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Morning Skate: NHL Playoffs Game Three - Red Wings at Lightning

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Round one, game three of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

7:00p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, Michigan

TV: NBCS, FSDT

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Lightning Blog: Raw Charge

Hold onto your butts...

We got ourselves a game three matchup tonight, gang. The heavily-favored Tampa Bay Lightning roll into the Joe Louis Arena to dance with the Detroit Red Wings once again.

After an ugly 5-1 loss on Saturday, head coach Mike Babcock made some changes to his lineup, a lot of those changes weren't anything new to us as fans. Justin Abdelkader will return this evening and play on the first line with Henrik Zetterberg, and Gustav Nyquist while Pavel Datsyuk centers Darren Helm and Tomas Tatar. This should hopefully provide the team with more than one line who can score, but still, I worry about the bottom-six, and of course.. The Defense.

Mike Babcock has pulled Brendan Smith out of the doghouse, and back on the ice. Say what you will about that.. Just keep your hands inside the bench, Brendan. To make room for Smith, Alexey Marchenko has been scratched, and Kyle Quincey has been moved back with his usual partner, Danny DeKeyser. Risky? I think so. This is pretty much the exact lineup that Babcock used when Detroit was getting pasted night-in, and night-out in the month of March. I'll have my barf bag ready.

Petr Mrazek got pulled after giving up four goals on 18 shots in Saturday's loss. You can't really pin the all on him, Detroit just wasn't getting those lucky bounces like Tampa was all game-long. Nevertheless, Mrazek is going to have to come out sharp and bounce back. I have that hunch that Detroit only has a chance of making it out of this series if Petr (or Jimmy, if you will) can keep stealing games. That's a bad hunch, and I don't like it. While Saturday's score was awful, the stats were much better in comparison to the opening game where Detroit was under siege all night, yet pulled off the win.

Let's keep the hope alive, boys & girls!

The Expected Lineups

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader Henrik Zetterberg Gustav Nyquist
Darren Helm Pavel Datsyuk Tomas Tatar
Joakim Andersson Riley sheahan Tomas Jurco
Drew Miller Luke Glendening Landon Ferraro

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey Danny DeKeyser
Brendan Smith Marek Zidlicky

Goaltenders

Petr Mrazek
Jimmy Howard


Scratches: Daniel Cleary, Jakub Kindl, Teemu Pulkkinen, Alexey Marchenko and Stephen Weiss

Injuries: Erik Cole (spine), & Johan Franzen (concussion)

Forwards

Alex Killorn Steven Stamkos Ryan Callahan
Ondrej Palat Tyler Johnson Nikita Kucherov
Vladislav Namestnikov Valtteri Filppula Cedric Pacquette
Brenden Morrow Brian Boyle J.T. Brown


Defensemen

Victor Hedman Andrej Sustr
Nikita Nesterov Anton Stralman
Matt Carle Braydon Coburn


Goaltenders

Ben Bishop
Andrei Vasilevskiy


LIGHTNING THE MATCHUP (PLAYOFFS) RED WINGS
1-1 Record 1-1
3.50 (2nd in NHL Playoffs) Goals Per Game 2.00 (13th in NHL Playoffs)
2.00 (3rd) Goals Against Per Game 3.50 (15th)
18.3 (8th) Power Play % 14.3 (12th)
85.7 (5th) Penalty Kill % 81.8 (10th)
Tyler Johnson (2 goals) Goal Leader Pavel Datsyuk (2 goals)
Nikita Nesterov (3 points) Points Leader Pavel Datsyuk (2 points)

  • The Red Wings are 28-10-2-3 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time against the Tampa Bay Lightning.

  • Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have a combined 226 points in the playoffs throughout their careers.

  • I'm scared. Hold me.

Let's Go Red Wings!!