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Game 1 - Red Wings at Lightning: Line Combinations, Gameday Updates, Key to the Game

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Will Tyler Johnson play? That's the million dollar question for tonight's game. It appears we won't know until right before puck drop.

Things appear to be status quo for the Wings.

Detroit Line Combinations

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader Pavel Datsyuk Henrik Zetterberg
Gus Nyquist Riley Sheahan Tomas Tatar
Darren Helm Brad Richards Dylan Larkin
Andreas Athanasiou Luke Glendening Joakim Andersson


Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser Kyle Quincey
Niklas Kronwall Alexey Marchenko
Jonathan Ericsson Mike Green


Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Power Play units:

  1. Datsyuk-Zetterberg-Abdelkader, Nyquist-Kronwall
  2. Tatar-Sheahan-Larkin, Richards-Green

Tampa Bay Line Combinations

Forwards

Alex Killorn Tyler Johnson Nikita Kucherov
Ondrej Palat Valtteri Filppula Jonathan Drouin
J.T. Brown Cedric Paquette Ryan Callahan
Mike Blunden Vladislav Namestnikov Brian Boyle


Defensemen

Victor Hedman Matt Carle
Jason Garrison Andrej Sustr
Braydon Coburn Nikita Nesterov


Goaltenders

Ben Bishop (starting)
Andrei Vasilevskiy


Key to the Game:

Tyler Johnson vs Luke Glendening

I know... I know... Luke Glendening isn't an analytics darling and even Tyler Johnson at 50% should dominate the possession game against the Wings 4th line. The stats are not in Glendening's favor. With that said, you can throw all the numbers in the world at me that you want, but last year in this 1st round matchup the Red Wings unraveled when Glendening got hurt and the series turned in Tampa's favor. Essentially what I'm saying is that Glendening is the most important player on the ice tonight. The Red Wings chances to win the Stanley Cup are solely based on him. He needs to use his dark magic and shut down the Triplets (unless Johnson doesn't play... then ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)

Systems Breakdown:

Prashanth's 4 part series has us covered.

1. Detroit's breakout vs. Tampa's forecheck

2. Tampa's breakout vs. Detroit's forecheck

3. Detroit's power play vs. Tampa's penalty kill

4. Tampa's power play vs. Detroit's penalty kill

Fun Facts!

Aaaaand one more:

Let's Go Red Wings.