Detroit Red Wings (10-10-1, 8th Atlantic Division) vs.
Montreal Canadiens (15-4-2, 1st Atlantic Division)
How To Watch/Listen/Read
Puck Drop: 7:00 EST
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, Sports Net
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Habs SB Nation Blog: Habs Eyes On the Prize
Remember the last time the Red Wings played the Canadiens? It was also on a Saturday night but that’s all I can recall because I blacked out the rest. You might’ve done the same.
The Canadiens and Red Wings are two teams that run similar styles but the clear discrepancy in talent have them going in opposite directions. What the Habs lack on defensive depth, they more than make up for with a loaded forward core. Ultimately the difference for Montreal vs any opponent is Carey Price. He’ll likely be getting the start, meaning one goal could be enough for the Canadiens, as it was in their 5-0 win two weeks ago.
Detroit has cobbled together two wins in a row. Last night the offense looked competent for the first time since October. Blashill has seemed overwhelmed, stuck with a table full of puzzle pieces that don’t fit. Nielsen, Sheahan and Abdelkader, were all expected to have larger roles coming into the season but have disappointed. Until last night’s two goal performance, Nielsen had only two points in his previous 11 games. There’s even the cases of Larkin and Tatar, who have gotten pucks to the net but haven’t been able to consistently finish, mainly because they seem to have to finish the plays they’re starting.
It’s to be assumed the Wings will be going with a near identical lineup for third game in a row. Keeping the lines together is a luxury Blashill hasn’t been afforded often in the past month.
A key difference tonight is Petr Mrazek getting the start in net. Mrazek struggled early in the season after being given the starting job out of camp. Jimmy Howard has proceeded to start eight out of the last nine games and play tremendously. Mrazek has played well against the Canadiens in the past with a 2-1 record in five appearances. Tonight could be a pivotal moment. Howard went down with a lower body injury last night, the job could be Mrazek’s for the foreseeable future. Beating the top team in the NHL could be a good launching point.
Montreal Projected Lines and Power Play
Paul Byron-Alex Galchenyuk-Alex Radulov
Phillip Danault-ThomasPlekanec-Brendan Gallagher
Max Pacioretty-Torrey Mitchell-Andrew Shaw
Daniel Carr-David Desharnais-Chris Terry
Alexei Emelin-Shea Weber
Andre Markov-Jeff Petry
Mark Barberio-Greg Pateryn
1st Power Play Unit
2nd Power Play Unit
BrIan Flynn (upper body, day-to-day), Charles Hudon (undisclosed injury), Arturri Lehkonen, Sven Andrighetto, Al Montoya (back up)
Red Wings Projected Lines and Power Play
Power Play 1st Unit
Injuries and Scratches
Machenko (upper-body injury), Miller, Ouellet, Jimmy Howard (lower-body injury), Jared Coreau (back up)
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.