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Gameday Updates: Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning Line Combinations, Key Matchups

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

A quick piece of housekeeping to get out of the way early and then we're off

Pasquale being on the opening roster was for the purposes of maxing LTIR space to start the season, the Wings were never going to carry three goalies.

Lines & pairings the same as yesterday. Here goes:

Line Combinations

Forwards

Tomas Tatar

Frans Nielsen

Henrik Zetterberg

Justin Abdelkader

Dylan Larkin

Riley Sheahan

Gustav Nyquist

Darren Helm

Tomas Vanek

Steve Ott

Luke Glendening

Drew Miller


Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser

Alexey Marchenko

Brendan Smith

Mike Green

Jonathan Ericsson

Xavier Ouellet


Goaltenders

Petr Mrazek (starting)

Jimmy Howard

Power Play units:

  1. Tatar-Nielsen-Zetterberg, Vanek (net front), Green
  2. Nyquist-Larkin-Sheahan, Abdelkader (net front), Smith

Lightning Line Combinations

Forwards

Ondrej Palat

Steven Stamkos

Jonathan Drouin

Alex Killorn

Tyler Johnson

Nikita Kucherov

Vladislov Namestnikov

Valtteri Filppula

Brayden Point

Brian Boyle

Cedric Paquette

J.T. Brown


Defensemen

Victor Hedman

Anton Stralman

Jason Garrison

Andrej Sustr

Brayden Coburn

Nikita Nesterov


Goaltenders

Ben Bishop (starting)

Andrei Vasilevskiy

Keys to the Game:

Mrazek the Magnificent

New season, same up tempo playing Lightning. Tampa wants to use their speed at forward and play fast and this will be even more prevalent in their season and home opener. The Wings reportedly want to play faster and more aggressive this season, especially along the blue line. We have seen through the preseason that this strategy should increase their offensive output but it will likely also increase the number of chances their opponents will have as well. Mrazek will need to be on his game tonight as I suspect he is going to see a lot of odd man rushes.

Keep it Simple

One way for the Wings to limit the amount of rubber Mrazek will see is to limit the number of unforced errors they make, especially in their own end. Tampa has exploited these mistakes in the past and you can be sure they will look to do the same tonight. If the Wings are truly going to look to get be more aggressive with their defensemen they are going to need to get the puck out of their own zone and into the offensive zone consistently. This means keeping it simple in their own zone by relying on quick, simple passes to get the puck up to their forwards so they can use their skating and puck protection abilities, which is an overall strength of the Wings forwards.

Put the Special Back in Special Teams

Special teams, especially the Power Play, was one of the biggest reasons for the Wings inconsistent scoring last year. For the most part the Power Play personnel look promising and the talk about looking to get more pucks on net is encouraging but until they actually start scoring on the man advantage with some level of consistency again I am going to be skeptical. They need to show they have learned from their pass happy ways of the past and are capable of working for those greasy goals. Some more aggression from the Penalty Kill and a couple shorthanded chances would be nice as well.