10:30p ET, SAP Center
San Jose, CA
TV: FS-D, CSN-CA
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket // 1270 AM CBS Sports Radio
Sharks Blog: Fear the Fin
The last time these two teams went head-to-head was Pavel Datsyuk's first game of the season. It was overall not a bad game by the Red Wings, and though it was ultimately a loss, it was hard to be overly upset at the way the team played. Indeed, they had a bad loss against the Bruins the very next night, but then they started on their 13-game point streak that extended well into December.
It's been no secret that the Wings haven't been playing consistently since that point streak came to an end. However, they've won their last two games in a row (both by one goal, of course) after being thoroughly embarrassed in the previous three. Tonight they should look to really get the ball rolling on the start of their annual swing through California, which won't be easy despite the Pacific Division being the worst in the league by far.
The Sharks come into the game after four nights off, which for some teams is a benefit while a detriment for others as that long of a break could spell either rest or rust. Venturing into the "Shark Tank" doesn't seem to be as scary as it used to be this season, as the Sharks have a rather woeful 5-11-0 record at home.
Quite possibly the most important part of this matchup is going to come down to special teams. The Sharks have a much better power play than the Red Wings, and their penalty kill is more highly-ranked as well. With how atrocious the reffing has been in the last handful of games the Wings have played, it's going to be crucial to capitalize on the opportunities with the man advantage and shut it down when they're shorthanded. For the latter, we have PK guru Drew Miller looking to draw back into the lineup, in place of the recently-demoted Tomas(h) Nos(h)ek. Tomas(h) Jurco is also available, but it remains to be seen whether he sees the ice tonight. Kyle Quincey is also close to returning, but it looks as though it will not be in Northern California.
Red Wings Expected Lineups
|Gustav Nyquist||Henrik Zetterberg||Justin Abdelkader|
|Tomas Tatar||Pavel Datsyuk||Darren Helm|
|Dylan Larkin||Riley Sheahan||Brad Richards|
|Joakim Andersson||Luke Glendening||Drew Miller|
|Niklas Kronwall||Jonathan Ericsson|
|Danny DeKeyser||Alexey Marchenko|
|Brendan Smith||Mike Green|
|Petr Mrazek (starting)|
Scratches: Jakub Kindl, Tomas Jurco
Injuries: Teemu Pulkkinen (shoulder), Johan Franzen (concussion), Kyle Quincey (ankle)
(It was difficult to figure out the lineups for San Jose because they suffer from some of the line-blenderiest coaching I've ever seen. Based on last game's lineup and subsequent transactions, this is the best I could hazard a guess at.)
Sharks Expected Lineups
|Melker "Not Erik" Karlsson||Joe "Jumbo Joe" Thornton||Joe "Little Joe" Pavelski|
|Patrick "Brows" Marleau||Logan "Broken Ankles" Couture||Joel "Stuck in a Bathroom" Ward|
|Matt "Long Beach Native" Nieto||Tomas "Showboat" Hertl||Tommy "The Wind Beneath My" Wingels|
|Joonas "Foreign Joe" Donskoi||Dainius "Hound of Hades" Zubrus||Mike "George Parros Wannabe" Brown|
|Marc-Edouard "Pickles" Vlasic||Justin "Brains Over" Braun|
|Paul "Actually a Math Teacher" Martin||Brent "Wookiee" Burns|
|Brenden "Other Pickles" Dillon||Dylan "Marsh" DeMelo|
|Martin "Keeping Up With the" Jones (starting)|
|Troy "Gooseneck" Grosenick|
|SHARKS||THE MATCH-UP||RED WINGS|
|18-17-2 (38 pts; 6th in Pacific)||Record||20-13-7 (47 pts; 3rd in Atlantic)|
|2.70 (11th in NHL)||Goals Per Game||2.50 (20th in NHL)|
|2.86 (25th)||Goals Against Per Game||2.60 (14th)|
|21.8% (6th)||Power Play %||18.1% (22nd)|
|81.0% (12th)||Penalty Kill %||79.4% (20th)|
|Joe Pavelski (20 goals)||Goals Leader||Dylan Larkin (14 goals)|
|Joe Pavelski (38 points)||Points Leader||Henrik Zetterberg (29 points)|
- The Red Wings are 52-27-4-4 (W-L-T-OTL) all-time in the regular season against the Sharks.
- Last 10 Games: Detroit 4-5-1, San Jose 4-4-2
- Petr Mrazek is 0-1-0 with a .909 SV% and 2.03 GAA in 2 career games against the Sharks. He has never started a game against San Jose, as both appearances were in relief of a pulled Jimmy Howard.
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.