7:30p ET, Joe Louis Arena
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Flyers Blog: Broad Street Hockey
Reports are surfacing that goalies all throughout the NHL were suddenly stricken with brief bouts of illness early Saturday afternoon. Very strange symptoms were universally reported, including profuse sweating, chills, anxiety, and the sudden urge to ask their athletic trainers to reinforce their chest protectors with extra padding. It took a while for the news to get around and a common cause to be determined, but many are attributing it to the injury clearance of one Teemu Pulkkinen.
That's right, folks, the Holy Slapper returns to the ice in the first Red Wings home game of 2016. Our favorite Finn was sidelined since December 3 with a dislocated shoulder from a hit by Martin Hanzal in the last game against the Coyotes, so his return to the lineup tonight nicely bookends his departure. Though Coach Blashill said he hasn't decided which forward would come out for Pulkkinen's return, the diggers reported that Pulkkinen was swapping out with Andersson in practice, with the other lines remaining the same as they were in Arizona.
The defense pairings haven't changed either, and Alexey Marchenko will be a healthy scratch for a second consecutive game. The "don't fix what ain't broke" idea here isn't exactly comforting, especially when even Blashill himself has said Marchenko has been one of their best defenders this season. However, the reality is that the players we want to see scratched simply aren't the ones that will be. It's frustrating, but it is what it is.
Red Wings Expected Lineups
|Gustav Nyquist||Henrik Zetterberg||Justin Abdelkader|
|Tomas Tatar||Pavel Datsyuk||Darren Helm|
|Dylan Larkin||Riley Sheahan||Brad Richards|
|Teemu Pulkkinen||Luke Glendening||Tomas Jurco|
|Niklas Kronwall||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Kyle Quincey||Danny DeKeyser|
|Brendan Smith||Mike Green|
|Petr Mrazek (starting)|
Scratches: Alexey Marchenko, Joakim Andersson
Injuries: Drew Miller (torn meniscus), Johan Franzen (concussion)
Flyers Expected Lineups
|Jakub Voracek||Claude Giroux||Wayne Simmonds|
|Michael Raffl||Sean Couturier||Brayden Schenn|
|Chris VandeVelde||Pierre-Edouard Bellemare||Ryan White|
|Matt Read||Scott Laughton||R.J. Umberger|
|Nick Schultz||Mark Streit|
|Michael Del Zotto||Radko Gudas|
|Shayne Gostisbehere||Evgeny Medvedev|
|Steve Mason (starting)|
|FLYERS||THE MATCH-UP||RED WINGS|
|19-15-8 (46 pts; 7th in Metropolitan)||Record||23-14-7 (53 pts; 2nd in Atlantic)|
|2.26 (28th in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.48 (20th in NHL)|
|2.60 (15th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.55 (13th)|
|15.9% (28th)||Power Play %||18.2% (16th)|
|78.2% (25th)||Penalty Kill %||78.9% (23rd)|
|Simmonds, Giroux (12 goals)||Goals Leader||Larkin, Tatar (14 goals)|
|Claude Giroux (34 points)||Points Leader||Larkin, Zetterberg (30 points)|
Let's Go Red Wings!!!
Game Day Prediction Contest
Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.
Make your game predictions on the winning team, final score, and who the Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated in the questions. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. All other submissions after that will be disregarded. Only one submission per person, please. POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.
Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 2 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct you'll receive 15 points.