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Gameday Updates: Detroit Red Wings @ Philadelphia Flyers Line Combinations, Key Matchups

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NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Detroit Red Wings at Philadelphia Flyers (Fox Sports Detroit, 7:00pm)

With the Red Wings winless in five forward Tyler Bertuzzi makes his NHL Debut tonight in Philly. He will be on the top line and expected to get “significant minutes” according to head coach Jeff Blashill. If this turns into a special teams game, will the plan of significant minutes change or if the line is struggling or the team is struggling? We will find out tonight.

Detroit needs more than just the top line to contribute they need goals from all areas and also need Tomas Tatar to have more than one goal in 13 games. They need Gustav Nyquist to have more than three goals in 13 games. With Thomas Vanek out and the team struggling, tonight is overdue for one of them to step up and be a key contributor.

Despite all the defensive breakdowns this season, the top six needs to produce more if the team wants to have the season they think they can. It needs to start tonight to give them confidence in a place they have won at in forever and if not now when?

Jimmy Howard has been good this season and is expected to start in goal tonight.

Red Wings Lineup

Red Wings Expected Lineups

Forwards

Dylan Larkin

Frans Nielsen

Tyler Bertuzzi

Tomas Tatar

Henrik Zetterberg

Justin Abdelkader

Andreas Athanasiou

Darren Helm

Gustav Nyquist

Riley Sheahan

Luke Glendening

Steve Ott


Defensemen

Danny DeKesyer

Mike Green

Niklas Kronwall

Brendan Smith

Jonathan Ericsson

Alexey Marchenko


Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)

Petr Mrazek

Flyers Lineup:

Flyers Expected Lineups

Forwards

Matt Read

Claude Giroux

Wayne Simmonds

Travis Konecny

Sean Couturier

Jakub Voracek

Michael Raffl

Brayden Schenn

Dale Weise

Scott Laughton

Pierre-Edouard Bellemare

Chris VandeVelde


Defensemen

Michael Del Zotto

Shayne Gostisbehere

Ivan Provorov

Mark Streit

Brandon Manning

Radko Gudas


Goaltenders

Steve Mason (starting)

Michal Neuvirth

Keys To The Game:

Detroit needs to play a full 60 minutes. With being winless in five Detroit, has been outscored 6-3 in the third period. Regardless that four of the goals came against Winnipeg, it’s a number where you never want to have a negative goals against in a period especially the third period. Scoring nine goals during the last five games will not get the job done. Going back on the need for key players to contribute more Henrik Zetterberg and Frans Neilsen both fit into this category, they both have two goals in 13 games.

Key Matchup:

The focus will be on the Larkin-Neilsen-Bertuzzi line tonight for the Wings. Can they provide that spark, energy and generate offense tonight? They are going against Read, Giroux and Simmonds, who combined have 33 points on the season. The Wings top line tonight has 12 points combined. Even with Bertuzzi making his NHL debut that number should and needs to be higher.

Red Wings Power Play:

  1. Nyquist-Zetterberg-Tatar-Kronwall-Green
  2. Anthanasiou-Nielsen-Larkin-Sheahan-Smith

Flyers Power Play:

  1. Schenn-Giroux-Simmonds-Voracek-Gostisbehere
  2. Konecny-Couturier-Read-Del Zotto-Streit