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Kings at Wings: Gameday Updates, Keys to the Game

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Los Angeles Kings v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Red Wings Expected Lineups

Forwards

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


Defensemen

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


Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Petr Mrazek

Power Play Units:

  1. Nyquist-Zetterberg-Abdelkader (net front), Kronwall-Tatar
  2. Larkin-Nielsen-Mantha (net front), Athanasiou-Green

Kings Expected Lineups

Forwards

Alex Iafallo Anze Kopitar Dustin Brown
Tanner Pearson Nick Shore Tyler Toffoli
Marian Gaborik Adrian Kempe Trevor Lewis
Jussi Jokinen Torrey Mitchell Jonny Brodzinski


Defensemen

Jake Muzzin Drew Doughty
Derek Forbort Christian Folin
Kurtis MacDermid Alec Martinez


Goaltenders

Jonathan Quick (starting)
Darcy Kuemper

Keys to the Game:

Special teams favors Red Wings, but hold even strength Kings at bay

The Kings and Red Wings are the proud owners of the best and third best penalty kills in the league, respectively. And while each team excels while down a man, Detroit has a better power play, boasting 22.7% to Los Angeles’ 17.5%. But with equal GF/G, the Wings rely more on their power play to get on the scoreboard than the Kings do. LA is going to be more potent at evens, which is when Detroit’s defense is going to have to step up.

Win it in regulation

I’ll take a win any way, even in a shootout where we don’t get one of those sweet, sweet ROWs. But I’d much rather see the Wings not have to put their newly-practiced 3-on-3 work to the test. They’re still winless when it comes to games decided in the extra five minutes, and while I’m hopeful they made some beneficial strategic decisions in practice, three of the last four games have gone to overtime and that’s quite enough hockey-induced stress for one week, thanks.

Start generating consistency

The Wings ended third in the Atlantic before Thanksgiving, which according to history means they’ll be in the playoff picture this spring. If the Wings indeed want to get back to the post-season and not become one of the anomalous teams that fail to make it after hitting that somehow-special November mark, they’re going to have to get consistent in their play. Study the games against the Oilers (4-0W, 6-2L) and Flames (6-3L, 8-2W) and learn the differences between the wins and losses there. And then do the good things all the time, easy as that.

Fun Facts!

  • The Red Wings are 93-83-27-5 (W-L-T-OTL) all time against the Kings in the regular season.
  • Jimmy Howard is 10-8-0 in 18 career games against Los Angeles, with a .923 SV% and 2.45GAA. He also has 6 career PIM when playing the Kings, tied for the most against any team.
  • Little Caesars Arena is only a few months old, but it’s already a million times better than Staples Center. At least LCA is named after pizza, the most delicious of foods; the Kings play in a place named after office supplies. Yawn.

Let’s Go Red Wings!!