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Morning Skate: Red Wings vs Habs

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Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

7:30p ET, Bell Centre

Montreal, Quebec

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, RDS

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Habs Blog: Eyes On The Prize

Hey, another critical game. Cool! Neat! Fun!

After a third period comeback against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Red Wings found themselves with a bit more breathing room. However, our season is going be decided in 82 games and that isn't very fun, but it's to be expected with the way the Red Wings have trended since the departing of Nick Lidstrom.

Tonight, Detroit faces a team who isn't exactly "resting" for the playoffs. No, the Habs very much want to win out the season to give themselves the best chance at clinching the division. The Wings will face the league's best goaltender in Carey Price. You know, the guy who has been the preeminent catalyst in his team's success, and somehow kept head coach Michel Therrien out of the hot seat. The bright side (and I hate putting it that way, because the way he was injured was horrifying), is that their leading scorer Max Pacioretty will not be in the lineup tonight. Does that change things? Sure.. But Montreal still has players who can light it up. The combination of Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk make for a very potent duo on Montreal's top-line. Add in the pest-like "get under your skin" type of play that Brendan Gallagher has, and you've got yourself a handful. Thankfully the reuniting of the Euro Twins seem to be the perfect way to nix that.

The Wings need a big game from their second line tonight. Gustav Nyquist, Riley Sheahan, and Tomas Tatar need to bring to the somewhat questionable Montreal 2nd line. PA Parenteau is still a decent player who can put up points, but it seems like Devante Smith-Pelly has been a bit snakebitten since being traded. You can expect him to score, now that I have said that. It's my fault.

The biggest obstacle is Carey Price. The guy is a freak of nature, and is having a historical season, statistically speaking. If you can find ways around their start defenseman P.K. Subban, and can get Price moving side-to-side, you can make it happen. It seems that Price's dominance comes from the fact that he is always in position to make the save. It will be the Red Wings job to try and break that somehow. Play fast, play smart, and get at least a point. Let's do this.

The Expected Lineups (updated at 12:03 pm)

Forwards

Darren Helm Henrik Zetterberg Pavel Datsyuk
Gustav Nyquist Riley Sheahan Tomas Tatar
Stephen Weiss Joakim Andersson Landon Ferraro
Drew Miller Luke Glendening Teemu Pulkkinen

Defensemen

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

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Scratches: Jakub Kindl & Danny Cleary

Injuries: Johan Franzen (concussion) Jonas Gustavsson (head), Tomas Jurco (upper body), Erik Cole (spine), Justin Abdelkader (hand/finger),

Forwards

Alex Galchenyuk Tomas Plekanec Brendan Gallagher
P.A. Parenteau David Desharnais Devante Smith-Pelly
Jacob De La Rose Lars Eller Dale Weise
Brandon Prust Manny Malhotra Bryan Flynn

Defensemen

Andrei Markov P.K. Subban
Alexei Emelin Jeff Petry
Nathan Beaulieu Tom Gilbert

Goaltenders

Carey Price (Starting)
Dustin Tokarski

CANADIENS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
48-22-10 (106 pts; 1st in Atlantic) Record 42-25-13 (97 pts; 3rd in Atlantic)
2.59 (22nd NHL) Goals Per Game 2.82 (9th in NHL)
2.22 (1st) Goals Against Per Game 2.59 (16th)
16.9% (23rd) Power Play % 24.3% (2nd)
83.0% (10th) Penalty Kill % 80.8% (19th)
Max Pacioretty (37 goals) Goal Leader Tomas Tatar (28 goals)
Max Pacioretty (67 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (64 points)

  • The Red Wings are 203-275-96-1 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time in the regular season against the Habs.

  • Last 10 Games: Detroit 4-4-2, Montreal 5-2-3

  • Out of town game to keep an eye on: Ottawa vs NYR. We need NYR to beat Ottawa in regulation!
    Let's Go Red Wings!!!