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Red Wings vs. Isles: GDU/Key Matchups

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at New York Islanders Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

Game Day Updates

We’ve known the goalie situation since yesterday:

Key Matchups

1. Matthew Barzal vs. the Red Wings

I know, I know, this is a very unspecific matchup, but I am just so excited to watch Barzal play for the first time. This dude has been absolutely killing it this season, especially since the calendar turned to 2018 where he has 17 points alone. It’s been him and Brock Boeser neck and neck for the Calder Trophy all year, but I absolutely give it to Barzal. Vancouver is sitting at the bottom of the league, while the Islanders are on the cusp of a playoff position. Without Barzal, I’m not sure that is possible this season. Let’s see if the Red Wings can slow down the young stud.

2. Nielsen vs. his former team

Remember when people thought Nielsen was a good signing? No? Just Ken Holland? Interesting. Anyways, the Red Wings signed Nielsen in the 2016 offseason after he spent his entire career prior to that with the Islanders. Nielsen accumulated 349 points in 606 games on the island and was a big reason for their success toward the end of his tenure. He’s been just eh since signing with the Red Wings, but does have 3 assists in 4 career games vs. the Islanders. Nielsen has 5 points, as well, in his last 7 games, so look for #51 to possibly be an impact player as he faces his former team once again.

3. Mantha/Larkin/Athanasiou vs. the Islanders D

The trio of youth on the Red Wings have combined for 92 points on the season. However, since the win against the Devils (all the way back on January 22) these three have combined for just 2 points. That’s 2 points for the 3 biggest pieces of the Red Wings organization in a 6 game stretch, that is unacceptable and a big reason the Red Wings have lost 4 of those 6 games. The Islanders have allowed the most goals in the NHL this season, so if there was ever a game for these three to get back on track, it would be this one. The Red Wings need Mantha, Larkin and AA tonight, badly.