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Gameday Updates: Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs: Line Combinations, Key Matchups

NHL: Preseason-Detroit Red Wings at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

We’re going with what we know now because it’s going to be just before gametime before we know more:

Don’t read into that, as the optional skate just gave him space for a workout. Helene’s report yesterday that he’ll be out another week and possibly two is still the standing instruction on DK. Larkin, Green, and Jensen were also out there this morning, according to Wakiji.

[UPDATE: 4:23pm]

On the Leafs side, they played last night in Washington, so no line rushes:

Just speculating on having Fehr replace Moore and Borgman instead of Rosen. If we get more info, we’ll share that.

Also in preparation for tonight

DETROIT RED WINGS

Forward Lines

Anthony Mantha - Henrik Zetterberg - Gustav Nyquist

Tomas Tatar - Dylan Larkin - Justin Abdelkader

Martin Frk - Frans Nielsen - Darren Helm

Luke Glendening - Riley Sheahan - Luke Witkowski

Defense Pairings

Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green

Jonathan Ericsson - Trevor Daley

Xavier Ouellet - Nick Jensen

Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Power Play

PP1 – Nyquist, Zetterberg, Abdelkader, Tatar, Kronwall

PP2 – Larkin, Nielsen, Mantha, Frk, Green

TORONTO MAPLE LEAFS

Forward Lines

Zach Hyman - Auston MatthewsWilliam Nylander

James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Connor Brown

Patrick Marleau - Nazem Kadri - Leo Komarov

Matt Martin -Eric Fehr - Mitch Marner

Defense Pairings

Morgan Rielly - Ron Hainsey

Jake Gardiner - Nikita Zaitsev

Andreas Borgman - Connor Carrick

Goaltenders

Curtis McElhinney

Frederik Andersen

Power Play Unit

PP1 – Bozak, Kadri, Van Riemsdyk, Rielly, Marner

PP2 – Brown, Matthews, Nylander, Marleau, Gardner

Keys to the Game

Power Play/Penalty Kill

The Red Wings power play has not been great so far this season (currently 18th), but it definitely has been better than last season when they were the worst in the league for a long portion. Their penalty kill has been doing well this season (currently sitting 5th in the league). They are going to need both to be at the top of their game tonight, especially with the team’s continued penchant for taking penalties, as the Maple Leafs enter the game with the best power play in the league and a middle of the pack penalty kill.

Avoid the Early Hole

In the two games the Red Wings have lost so far they have found themselves in an early hole in both of them and simply were unable to climb back out. This Toronto team is similar to the two teams that have beaten the Red Wings this season, Tampa Bay and Dallas, in that they like to get out of the gate quickly and use their speed to put pressure on their opponents right from the first puck drop. Also similar to those two teams, if the Red Wings find themselves in an early hole they are going to have a difficult time climbing out of it.