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Red Wings at Devils: Gameday Updates, Projected Lineups and Keys to the Game

NHL: Detroit Red Wings at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Gameday Updates

Brendan Perlini took a nasty skate to the face on Tuesday against the Sabres, but it looks like he is going to be okay.

Also, Robby Fabbri sat out Tuesday’s game against the Sabres. He left the Sunday matinee with the Bruins and did not return. Looks like he’s back in the lineup tonight.

Projected Lineups

Red Wings

Forwards

Darren HelmDylan LarkinAnthony Mantha
Tyler BertuzziAndreas AthanasiouLuke Glendening
Frans NielsenValtteri Filppula — Robby Fabbri
Justin AbdelkaderChristoffer EhnAdam Erne

Defense

Filip HronekMike Green
Patrik NemethGustav Lindstrom
Trevor DaleyAlex Biega

Goalies

Jonathan Bernier
Jimmy Howard

Devils

Forwards

Jesper BrattJack HughesKyle Palmieri
Blake ColemanTravis ZajacNikita Gusev
Miles WoodPavel ZachaWayne Simmonds
John HaydenKevin RooneyJoey Anderson

Defense

Andy GreeneP.K. Subban
Will ButcherDamon Severson
Mirco MuellerConnor Carrick

Goalies

Mackenzie Blackwood
Louis Domingue

Keys to the Game

Tighten Up Defensively

Bernier and Howard have seen far too much rubber this season and despite their heroic efforts, the Wings can’t expect to stay in too many hockey games if they continue to give up quality scoring chances.

They’ve played much of the season without Danny DeKeyser, but besides Hronek, I haven’t seen anyone step up and really fill the void that he’s left on the back end. The team has played better as of late, but much of that can be attributed to the play of Bernier, who has been the team MVP over the last two months. Give him some better defensive help and you might be on track to keep this season from being a historically bad one.

Drive the Net

Playing without Filip Zadina for nearly two weeks really took some offensive prowess out of this lineup up front. But, AA returned in his place and found the back of the net twice on Sunday against the Bruins. Hopefully, that’s a sign of things to come for the 25-year-old considering the start to his season.

With his speed in the lineup, Larkin’s aggressive forechecking and Mantha’s size up front, the key to offensive success will be driving the play towards the opposing net. Goals have been hard to come by for this squad, but they can skate with just about anybody in the league and it’s time to use that speed to gain high danger chances in the offensive zone.

Push Back

It’s not their game, and it really hasn’t been since dating back to the glory days of the 90’s and early 2000’s, but it would be nice to see a little bit more push back from this team at both ends of the rink. The losses have piled up this season, but the fight doesn’t have to leave your game either.

Mantha’s return to the lineup adds a bit of that intangible — although I’d like to see him pull back on dropping the gloves and use those hands for scoring — but, looking at a guy like Nemeth on the blueline to stand tall in front of his own net is just the recipe. The Wings may be at the bottom of the basement, but show some heart and be a tough team to play against even for the playoff contenders down the stretch.