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Morning Skate: Red Wings vs. Blues- Lineups, How to Watch

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Will the Red Wings continue to look impressive in an early test out west?

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings (5-2-0, 3rd Atlantic Division) vs.

St. Louis Blues (4-2-1, 2nd Central Division)

How To Watch/Listen/Read

Puck Drop: 8:00 EST

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket

Blues SB Nation Blog: St.Louis Game Time

The Red Wings continued their early season surge with their fifth win in a row against Carolina, while the Blues are coming off a split vs. Calgary.

Thomas Vanek continues to be not only the best story on the Wings but arguably in the NHL, as he opened scoring with his fourth goal of the season, notching his team leading eighth point. That goal came on a feed from Andreas Athanasiou who also tallied his second goal in as many games late in the third period to wrap up the game for Detroit.

A big question for the Wings will be the health of Justin Abdelkader, who’s missed two games with a lower body injury. Abdelkader has returned to practice but Jeff Blashill said his playing status will be determined at some point today.

If Abdelkader returns, whose spot does he take? The logical choice is Steve Ott but he’s receiving city wide acclaim for grabbing Viktor Stalberg in a scrum (negating a power play) following a hit from behind on Mike Green. Ah yes, Ott brings “snarl” and he did have an assist, but it was a secondary assist on Athanasiou’s snipe. Despite sparkling play the past two games, I fear Athanasiou will be the odd man out. Lines in practice have suggested otherwise, but even a five game winning streak has a hard time cracking my layers of cynicism.

The Blues are one of few teams seemingly playing to expectation two weeks into the season. They stand at a solid 4-2-1 and Vladimir Tarasenko leads the team with 8 points. Outside of a flat performance against the Flames last game, everything has pretty much gone to script for the Blues with one key rewrite; Nail Yakupov.

Yakupov had an incredibly redeeming moment when he scored in Edmonton, in front of many fans who were happy to see him shipped to the Blues for basically nothing. Since joining the Blues the former first overall pick has four points in seven games. More importantly, he seems to be doing better mentally after the stress of being a highly touted draft pick for the Oilers seemed to be grinding him down.

This will be an early test against a top tier Western Conference team on the road. The Wings already beat San Jose and Nashville but at home. Beating St.Louis in the Ol’ Checker Dome will prove much more difficult.

Red Wings Projected Lineup, Injuries and Scratches

(Courtesy of luminary, Mlive’s Ansar Khan)

Forwards

Nyquist-Nielsen-Larkin

Tatar-Zetterberg-Sheahan

Athanasiou-Helm-Vanek

Miller-Glendening-Ott (with Abdelkader rotating in)

Defense

DeKeyser-Green

Ericsson-Marchenko

Smith-Sproul

Power Play

Unit 1-Tatar-Neilsen-Zetterberg-Vanek (net-front)-Green

Unit 2-Nyquist-Larkin-Sheahan-Helm (net-front)-Sproul

Starter

Petr Mrazek

Scratches

Ouellet, Jimmy Howard (back up)

Blues Projected Lineup, Scratches and Injuries

(Courtesy of The Daily Face Off)

Forwards

Robby Fabbri-Paul Stastny-Alex Steen

David Perron-Jayden Schwartz-Vladimir Tarasenko

Dmitrij Jaskin-Patrik Berglund-Nail Yakupov

Scottie Upshall-Kyle Brodziak-Ryan Reaves

Defense

Jay Bouwmeester-Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarson-Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson-Colton Parayko

Power Play

Unit 1- Schwartz-Stastny-Tarasenko-Shattenkirk-Steen

Unit 2-Fabbri-Berglund-Perron-Pietrangelo-Parayko

Starter

Jake Allen

Scratches

Jori Lehtera (concussion, day-to-day), Magnus Paajarvi, Carter Hutton (back up)

It was reported in the St.Louis Post Dispatch that Lehtera could return against the Wings. If so there’s a possibility he’ll play left wing on Schwartz’ line. It was also mentioned Paajarvi could draw in for Jaskin.

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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.