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Morning Skate: Detroit Red Wings at Pittsburgh Penguins

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

7p ET, CONSOL Energy Center

Pittsburgh, PA

TV: Fox Sports Detroit

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket/1270 AM

Penguins Blog: Pensburgh

I hope you all have had time to refill the hate tank because tonight we face the Pittsburgh Penguins.  The Wings and Penguins enter tonight’s game with nearly identical records, and the Wings are coming off of a tough loss, an ugly win, and a really ugly loss so we could use a great game right about now.  Meanwhile the Penguins lost to the Panthers on Monday, so they’ll be looking to turn things around as well.

Overall record:

65-61-16-4 (W-L-T-OL)

The good moment:

I’ll skip the obvious moments and ask you to take a journey back with me to September 2015. The Detroit Griffwings were up against the Penguins and showed what they could do, twice. Basically, Athanasiou and Larkin put on a show, which is exactly what we want to see happen again tonight.  Scoring 6 goals the first game and 7 goals the second game, the Jr. Wings offense showed they were alive and hungry for blood with the kids running wild.

The bad moment:

June 12, 2009 also known as The Worst Birthday Ever.

Know the enemy:

As you would expect, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin lead the way offensively for the Penguins with Malkin also leading the parade to the penalty box. Professional agitators Darren Helm and Luke Glendening have work to do to get some Penguins in trouble, and for the fiftieth time I will emphasize that our powerplay should really score a goal.  Good things happen for the Penguins when Olli Maatta and/or Chris Kunitz are on the ice, so keep an eye out for them.

The Coaching match-up:

Jeff Blashill will be facing the most boring coach on the planet, Mike Sullivan.  Being attached to John Tortorella and still managing to be super boring is an impressive feat, and because I don’t have a coach fact for Mike I’m going to make one up.  Coach Fact: Mike Sullivan is a world champion mashed potato sculpter.

Closing thoughts:

In theory, this will be a close game so don’t be surprised if we see OT.  One key difference between these two teams is that the Penguins rely heavily on their top guys whereas the Wings will attack you from all four lines (ok, maybe not the fourth line but I can dream). Once more I will call upon Nyquist to help us out tonight, I’m fairly certain he is in fact still alive.  Larkin is another player to watch as he is due for a big game, but I also expect him to get cross checked frequently.  As previously mentioned, Larkin and Athanasiou dominated against the Penguins in the preseason, and wouldn’t it be awesome to see that happen again? All I can say is 1-2-3 let’s have fun!

LET’S GO RED WINGS!

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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.