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Gameday Updates: Calgary Flames at Detroit Red Wings Line Combinations, Key Matchups

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NHL: Calgary Flames at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Looks like Tyler Bertuzzi drew the short straw in practice and will be the one to sit tonight for the returning Tomas Vanek.

Line Combinations

Forwards

Gustav Nyquist

Henrik Zetterberg

Anthony Mantha

Dylan Larkin

Frans Nielsen

Thomas Vanek

Tomas Tatar

Riley Sheahan

Justin Abdelkader

Steve Ott

Luke Glendening

Drew Miller


Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser

Mike Green

Jonathan Ericsson

Alexey Marchenko

Niklas Kronwall

Ryan Sproul


Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Power Play units:

  1. Nyquist-Zetterberg-Vanek, Green-Sproul
  2. Tatar-Nielsen-Mantha, Kronwall-Larkin

Flames Line Combinations

Forwards

Sam Bennett

Sean Monahan

Troy Brouwer

Matthew Tkachuk

Mikael Backlund

Michael Frolik

Matt Stajan

Linden Vey

Alex Chiasson

Michael Ferland

Freddie Hamilton

Garnet Hathaway


Defensemen

Mark Giordano

Dougie Hamilton

T.J. Brodie

Dennis Wideman

Brett Kulak

Deryk Engelland


Goaltenders

Brian Elliott

Chad Johnson

Power Play units:

  1. Bennett-Monahan-Vey, Wideman-Brodie
  2. Tkachuk-Backlund-Brouwer, Giordano-Hamilton

Keys to the Game:

Get Aggressive on Special Teams

Calgary has the worst power play in the NHL right now and the second worst penalty kill. The Red Wings have been boring, passive, slow and predictable on special teams so far this season. This is the perfect game for the Wings to figure some things out on their mediocre at best power play. More importantly, it is an opportunity for the Wings to be aggressive with the Flames while on the penalty kill and potentially force some quality shorthanded opportunities. If only they had the speed of Helm and Athanasiou for this one.

Quick Transitions

Detroit has been at their best this season when they are able to transition quickly from defense to offense and play with speed through the neutral zone. Of course, most of their problems this year offensively has come with their inability to actually do anything with the puck once they get it into the offensive zone. If the Wings can force Calgary to play a fast paced game their speed, even without Helm and Athanasiou, will open up opportunities for them. The Wings are much more dangerous right now off the rush then they are when they setup in the offensive zone and they need to start using that more.

Finish, Finish, Finish

Stop me if you have heard this one before, the Red Wings have got to figure out a way to finish their scoring chances. It was the main story the other night in Washington and it has been a big problem for this team over the last few seasons. No matter what happens with the team going forward, until they figure out ways to consistently get pucks on and into the net they are not going to be able to consistently win hockey games. Tonight is a perfect opportunity for them to figure some things out because, like I have said numerous times now, the Flames have had issues keeping the puck out of their own net.