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Red Wings vs. Ducks — Updates, Projected Lines and Keys to the Game

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Wings host struggling Ducks

NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Detroit Red Wings Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Gameday Updates

Despite missing Monday’s practice, all signs point to Danny DeKeyser returning to the Wings’ lineup after sitting out with a hand injury since Dec. 4.

Based on this, we’re guessing at an 11/7 setup for tonight with JDLR as the odd-man out.

Mired in an 11-game losing streak, the Ducks’ front office made a minor splash on Monday, acquiring forward Devin Shore from the Dallas Stars in exchange for veteran forward Andrew Cogliano. Shore is set to make his Ducks debut on the third line tonight.

Projected Lines

Red Wings

Forwards

Tyler BertuzziDylan LarkinGustav Nyquist
Thomas VanekFrans NielsenAnthony Mantha
Darren HelmLuke GlendeningAndreas Athanasiou
Justin AbdelkaderChristoffer Ehn

Defense

Jonathan EricssonMike Green
Danny DeKeyser* — Dennis Cholowski
Niklas KronwallNick Jensen
Filip Hronek

Goalies

Jimmy Howard
Jonathan Bernier

Ducks

Forwards

Rickard RakellRyan GetzlafJakob Silfverberg
Nick RitchieAdam HenriqueOndrej Kase
Devin ShoreCarter RowneyDaniel Sprong
Kiefer SherwoodRyan KeslerBrian Gibbons

Defense

Hampus LindholmBrandon Montour
Cam FowlerJosh Manson
Jacob LarssonJake Dotchin

Goalies

John Gibson
Chad Johnson

Keys to the Game

Defensive Zone Pressure

The Ducks are extremely desperate for a win, currently in the midst of an 11-game losing streak. Despite the results, they’re still dangerous when you’re playing with that level of desperation and the Wings’ recipe for success starts with sustained pressure in the opposing zone. Put the throttle down early and keep the foot on the gas, not allowing the Ducks to establish themselves and get comfortable.

Set the Tone

The Ducks have a pretty underwhelming lineup on paper — particularly after their top line — and although it’s not typically their game, the Wings need to set the tone early tonight. Establishing the physical edge and putting the Ducks on their heels in the first period will allow the home team to use its speed and create scoring chances. This is where a guy like Abdelkader can be effective. Don’t be stupid, but be the dominator out of the gate and don’t let the Ducks get settled.