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Game Day Updates: Red Wings at Penguins

Pittsburgh Penguins v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Red Wings Updates

Darren Helm also skated with the team this morning, but not as part of these line rushes, apparently so while his return is getting closer, we’re almost certainly not seeing it tonight.

Fortunately, AA is a go

We hope to have more clarity on whether the Wings are going to try to cheat and play with four forwards on their fourth line and also have seven defensemen in the lineup, but we’re kind of left guessing at this point that the team will either stick with the 11/7 setup they had in their last game, in which case it appears Frk and Megan will both sit for Witkowski on defeense or they’ll sit both Witkowski and probably Megan to go with the more-traditional 12/6 setup.

Either way, Jimmy Howard was in the starter’s net this morning.

Penguins Updates

If that holds, we’re looking at this:

Jake Guentzel - Sidney Crosby - Bryan Rust
Dominik Simon - Evgeny Malkin - Patrik Hornqvist
Tanner Pearson - Derick Brassard - Phil Kessel
Riley Sheahan - Matt Cullen - Zach Aston-Reese

Brian Dumoulin - Kris Letang
Olli Maatta - Juuso Riikola
Marcus Pettersson - Jack Johnson

Matt Murray
Casey DeSmith

Three Keys to the Game

Keep the Penguins off the score board at least through the first. If there was ever a game where I thought the Wings would benefit from a tight checking game this season, it’s this one. The Penguins are on a roll right now and they really need that sixty minutes of hell to control the tempo of the game as much as possible.

Run them ragged. One of the qualities folks have noticed this year about the Wings that they’ve lacked in the past few years is their resiliency in the third. There are a lot of different factors that go into that resiliency, but I think a large part of that is that the Wings just have younger, fresher legs than a lot of teams. Make sure the Penguins are tired after 40 or 50 minutes, because these guys have got skill and experience for days.

Keep an eye on Bryan Rust. So much energy is focused on the big 2 in Pittsburgh that Rust goes unnoticed sometimes, and for fair reasons; he’s not nearly the player that Crosby and Malkin are. But he steals games because teams get mesmerized by the top two lines. He’s a gamer with a hot hand right now.