Brendan Perlini took a nasty skate to the face on Tuesday against the Sabres, but it looks like he is going to be okay.
Red Wings forward Brendan Perlini. Took skate to the face in game at Buffalo. pic.twitter.com/t05WRlxyMs— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) February 12, 2020
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.
Other than the switch to Mackenzie Blackwood, #NJDevils using the same group as last game. Only change is in the defensive pairings:— Amanda Stein (@amandacstein) February 13, 2020
Hischier skating, not taking line rushes
Darren Helm — Dylan Larkin — Anthony Mantha
Tyler Bertuzzi — Andreas Athanasiou — Luke Glendening
Frans Nielsen — Valtteri Filppula — Robby Fabbri
Justin Abdelkader — Christoffer Ehn — Adam Erne
Filip Hronek — Mike Green
Patrik Nemeth — Gustav Lindstrom
Trevor Daley — Alex Biega
Jesper Bratt — Jack Hughes — Kyle Palmieri
Blake Coleman — Travis Zajac — Nikita Gusev
Miles Wood — Pavel Zacha — Wayne Simmonds
John Hayden — Kevin Rooney — Joey Anderson
Andy Greene — P.K. Subban
Will Butcher— Damon Severson
Mirco Mueller — Connor Carrick
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.
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.