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Gameday Updates: Red Wings vs. Oilers, Line Combinations, Keys to the Game

Detroit Red Wings v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Codie McLachlan/Getty Images

The morning skate forward lines were the same as at practice yesterday, featuring David Booth on the fourth line. Marty Frk is the only Wing who didn’t skate, as his groin injury will have him out about another week. It’s possible Booth gets in due to the way the defense looked though:

Ericsson not skating was a surprise, and we initially thought it was because he was awestruck:

But it turns out the reason is quite different:

This is sure to help his reputation among fans, but you all have to realize something:

If Riggy isn’t going tonight, then expect the D-pairs to look like Ansar posted and for Booth to be the fourth line wing on a 12/6 setup; otherwise, the 11-7 lives.

On the other side, Brad Malone definitely won’t be in the lineup, so we have Jujhar Khaira on the fourth line instead.

Red Wings Projected Lineup

Gustav Nyquist - Henrik Zetterberg - Anthony Mantha
Tomas Tatar - Dylan Larkin - Justin Abdelkader
Darren Helm - Frans Nielsen - Luke Glendening
Andreas Athanasiou - Scott Wilson

Jonathan Ericsson - Trevor Daley
Danny DeKeyser - Mike Green
Niklas Kronwall - Nick Jensen
Xavier Ouellet

Jimmy Howard
Petr Mrazek

Oilers Projected Lineup

Patrick Maroon - Connor McDavid - Drake Caggiula
Milan Lucic - Leon Draisaitl - Ryan Nugent-Hopkins
Mike Cammalleri - Ryan Strome - Jesse Puljujarvi
Jujhar Khaira - Mark Letestu - Zack Kassian

Darnell Nurse - Adam Larsson
Oscar Klefbom - Matt Benning
Kris Russell - Eric Gryba

Cam Talbot
Laurent Broissoit

Keys to the Game

Stay out of the box

The Oilers are not particularly strong on the powerplay or the penalty kill but let’s allow the Calgary game to satisfy our need for penalties for a while. After our shaky loss to the Avs we need a solid performance here to get our momentum back.

In fact, thanks to the Calgary game, Anthony Mantha is now leading the Wings in PIM with 37. Which is only one minute shy of having the penalty time to fight the entire Anglo-Zanzibar War of 1896. And win.

Shut down the star forwards

The Oilers depend heavily on their top forwards, mostly McDavid, Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins. We know our grinders can actually be quite effective in ruining the opponent's’ day, and they’ve got their job cut out for them tonight in addition to our kids keeping their defense game on point.

The Wings word of the week has been “relentless”, so they are really looking to keep their intensity up and not let a lead slip away.