No surprises on defense from this morning
#RedWings defense pairs:— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) October 20, 2017
DeKeyser (lower body injury) skating but not ready to play.
The forward lines are also as-expected, but both Booth and Witkowski were taking rushes, so we’ll wait on an update on which of those guys will get in.
In terms of how the Howard pull in Toronto might have affected the plan for Mrazek to start this game, Khan reported that Petr was in the starter’s net at the skate, although Gregg Krupa listed Howard.
We’ll go with Khan on this one.
DETROIT RED WINGS
Anthony Mantha - Henrik Zetterberg - Gustav Nyquist
Tomas Tatar - Dylan Larkin - Justin Abdelkader
Martin Frk - Frans Nielsen - Darren Helm
Luke Glendening - Riley Sheahan - Luke Witkowski
Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson - Trevor Daley
Xavier Ouellet - Nick Jensen
Power Play Unit
PP1 – Nyquist, Zetterberg, Abdelkader, Tatar, Kronwall
PP2 – Larkin, Nielsen, Mantha, Frk, Green
Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Jakub Vrana
Tom Wilson – Nicklas Backstrom – T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly – Lars Eller – Andre Burakovsky
Devante Smith-Pelly – Jay Beagle – Alex Chiasson
Christian Djoos – John Carlson
Brooks Orpik – Madison Bowey
Dimitri Orlov – Taylor Chorney
Power Play Unit
PP1 – Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Oshie, Ovechkin, Carlson
PP2 – Vrana, Connonlly, Burabovsky, Djoos, Orlov
Keys to the Game
Power Play/Penalty Kill
For the third time this week the Red Wings are facing a very dangerous power play. Special teams proved important in the Tampa Bay game but not as much against Toronto. This time around it is not just about shutting down the opposing power play (although that first unit for the Capitals is about as scary a power play unit you will see in the league), it is about getting their own power play converting again. Washington has a middle of the pack penalty kill and the Red Wings absolutely need to take advantage of that fact.
Avoid the Costly Mistakes
Every team makes mistakes during the course of the game. The Red Wings just seem to make really bad (i.e. easily avoidable) mistakes that more often than not end with them fishing the puck out of their own net. This is double, if not triple, true for the defensemen. Poorly line change decisions, indecisiveness, lack of communication and poor puck management have led to some easy chances and back breaking goals the last two games. That is something that the Red Wings absolutely need to clean up going forward in order for them to be competitive with the good teams in the NHL.