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Red Wings vs. Flames Gameday Updates, Key Matchups

NHL: Calgary Flames at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Across the other side, we’ll see Eddie Lack in goal and even if we drop a bunch on him, we won’t be seeing Mike Smith come in.

The Red Wings had an optional skate today after practicing hard yesterday, but we appear to have one question already answered about the status of a guy who didn’t practice yesterday either.

With this in mind, we’re assuming the lines are going to match the way they practiced yesterday. During that practice, they had Danny DeKeyser holding a fourth line spot with Glendening and Wilson, so the assumption is we’re going with an 11-7 setup tonight and will have Zetterberg and Larkin mostly double-shifting with the fourth line to fill out the forward lines while Witkowski will spell guys on the back end.

Projected Lineups

Red Wings Lineup

Anthony Mantha — Henrik Zetterberg — Gustav Nyquist
Tomas Tatar — Dylan Larkin — Andreas Athanasiou
David Booth — Frans Nielsen — Justin Abdelkader
Scott Wilson — Luke Glendening

Jonathan Ericsson — Trevor Daley
Xavier OuelletMike Green
Niklas Kronwall — Nick Jensen
Luke Witkowski

Jimmy Howard
Petr Mrazek

Flames Lineup

Johnny Gaudreau — Sean Monahan — Michael Ferland
Matthew TkachukMikael BacklundMichael Frolik
Sam BennettMark JankowskiJaromir Jagr
Kris VersteegCurtis LazarTroy Brouwer

Mark GiordanoDougie Hamilton
T.J. BrodieTravis Hamonic
Brett KulakMichael Stone

Eddie Lack
Jon Gillies

Key Matchups

Strength At the Top

With Marty “Depth Scoring” Frk out and the lineup kinda hurting, the Red Wings are going to need their top two lines to carry them while trying to neutralize Calgary’s depth. It would be nice if the Wings could get better-than-stalemate in the bottom six, but David Booth versus Jaromir Jagr is kind of a mismatch.

Playing Fast vs. Playing Smart

Detroit has struggled on their home ice with the same game they’ve played on the road and it still feels like they’re not used to their own ice surface, which doesn’t fit a 2-3 pass zone transition game like what worked so well against Edmonton and Vancouver. Getting the puck up ice and winning battles for it in the neutral zone are going to be key against a Calgary squad that can turn your mistakes into goals very quickly.

Don’t Fight Troy Brouwer

He is good at punching.