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Red Wings at Bruins: Keys to the Game, Projected Lineups

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NHL: Detroit Red Wings at Boston Bruins Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Likely no true morning skate today because of the early start, so here’s what we know:

Dennis Cholowski was skating with Jonathan Ericsson in practice yesterday, which means they’re both out. I know, you were all really excited to see that defensive pairing in game action, I’m sorry.

Power Play Units as follows:

PP1: Bertuzzi-Larkin-Rasmussen (net front), Nyquist-Hronek
PP2: Athanasiou-Nielsen-Mantha (net front), Vanek-Kronwall

Really making the most out of Rasmussen and Mantha’s shooting abilities by plunking them in front of the net because they’re big dudes. You can’t see it, but I’m rolling my eyes so far back in my head that I also can’t see hwat Im’ tpyaing.

Red Wings Expected Lineups

Forwards

Gustav Nyquist Dylan Larkin Anthony Mantha
Tyler Bertuzzi Andreas Athanasiou Thomas Vanek
Justin Abdelkader Frans Nielsen Michael Rasmussen
Darren Helm Christoffer Ehn Luke Glendening


Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser Filip Hronek
Niklas Kronwall Nick Jensen
Joe Hicketts Libor Sulak


Goaltenders

Jimmy Howard (starting)
Jonathan Bernier

Injuries: Evgeny Svechnikov (body injury), Mike Green (illness), Jonathan Ericsson (upper body), Trevor Daley (upper body), Dennis Cholowski (upper body)

Scratches: Luke Witkowski, Martin Frk

Bruins Expected Lineups

Forwards

Brad Marchand Patrice Bergeron David Pastrnak
Joakim Nordstrom David Krejci Jake DeBrusk
Ryan Donato David Backes Anders Bjork
Chris Wagner Sean Kuraly Noel Acciari


Defensemen

Zdeno Chara Charlie McAvoy
John Moore Brandon Carlo
Matt Grzelcyk Kevan Miller


Goaltenders

Tuukka Rask (starting)
Jaroslav Halak

Injuries: Torey Krug (ankle)

Scratches: Danton Heinen, Steven Kampfer

BRUINS THE MATCH-UP RED WINGS
3-1-0 (6 pts; 2nd in Atlantic) Record 0-2-2 (2 pts; 6th in Atlantic)
3.50 (14th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.25 (24th in NHL)
2.75 (14th) Goals Against Per Game 3.50 (20th)
44.4% (3rd) Power Play % 25.0% (10th)
69.2% (28th) Penalty Kill % 81.3% (14th)
Patrice Bergeron (5 goals) Goals Leader Larkin, Bertuzzi, Jensen (2 goals)
Marchand, Bergeron (8 points) Points Leader Dylan Larkin (4 points)

Keys to the Game:

Trap the Rat
Brad Marchand is back in peak-rat form, putting up points and throwing unsuspecting punches at unwilling opponents. He’s accompanied by the also red-hot Patrice Bergeron, but I’m more concerned about Marchand goading dumb penalties out of certain Red Wings that I won’t call out here but certainly am in my head. Don’t be dumb, guys. But hey, with Joe Hicketts in the lineup, at least Marchand is finally taller than someone else, and maybe he’ll lose some of his Short Guy Big Attitude strategy.

Stick to the Basics
There are so many new and moving parts to the roster, it’s going to take time to get the chemistry and flow going. But once you boil everything down, it’s just keeping the puck out of our net and in the back of theirs. Make the plays simple, passes shorter if you can, and don’t try to do too much individually trying to get that first win of the season. Finish your checks (but not in the way that draws penalties) and skate, skate, skate.

Just... please

Just win, please.

Let’s Go Red Wings!!