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Red Wings at Islanders — Gameday Updates, Projected Lineups and Keys to the Game

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

Gameday Updates

The Wings took part in practice yesterday before heading out to New York. The update from Wednesday’s option skate was that Filip Zadina will be out for another two to three weeks. And, Filip Hronek is still dealing with a head injury, he will miss the next two games against the Islanders and Flames.

Not sure if Lashoff will actually factor into tonight’s lineup, but the lines at yesterday’s practice looked like this:

UPDATE:

For the Isles, it remains to be seen if Derick Brassard will be in the lineup tonight. He took a puck to the head during Wednesday’s game with the Avalanche and did not return.

(Looks like he’s out)

Red Wings Lineup

Forwards

Fabbri - Larkin - Mantha
Bertuzzi - Filppula - Athanasiou
Helm - Nielsen - Glendening
Erne - Ehn - Abdelkader (Perlini extra)

Defense

Nemeth - Biega
Bowey - Green
Daley - Lindstrom

Goalies

Bernier
Howard

Islanders Lineup

Forwards

Anders LeeMathew BarzalJordan Eberle
Anthony BeauvillierBrock NelsonLeo Komarov
Andrew Ladd — Josh Bailey Michael Dal Colle
Matt Martin — Otto Koivula — Tom Kuhnhackl

Defense

Andy GreeneRyan Pulock
Devon ToewsScott Mayfield
Nick LeddyJohnny Boychuk

Goalies

Semyon Varlamov
Thomas Greiss

Keys to the Game

Don’t Play with the Lead?

It sounds funny to say considering many teams will want to draw first blood and then clamp down on their opponent from there. But, the Wings have found weird ways to lose this season and I’ve been noticing a trend in which they can’t play with the lead. Last Sunday was no different, jumping out to the 1-0 lead on a Valtteri Filppula goal, only to surrender five unanswered to the Penguins after that. And, looking at Tuesday’s win over the Canadiens, the Wings trailed 2-0 and 3-1 in that hockey game before exploding for three goals in the third period. Coincidence? I think not my friends.

Be Smart with the Puck

Despite their troubles this season, the Wings have received strong goaltending play from Jonathan Bernier (sorry, Jimmy Howard, it’s definitely not your year). Watching the other night, it’s easy to see some very lazy plays with the puck in their own end and the defensive core just needs to be stronger in their own zone. When Bernier is playing like he has for the past two months, you owe it to him to be stronger on the puck. No soft dumps along the boards, hoping for it to clear the zone, but be stronger on your stick and win those one-on-one battles.

Keep Playing Loose

The Wings looked like they were actually having fun on Tuesday night (imagine what winning does for you). But, even when they trailed by two goals, they didn’t seem to get down and take themselves out of the game mentally. I thought Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha orchestrated some slick puck-handling to create a few quality scoring chances. And, both Andreas Athanasiou and Robby Fabbri contributed on the scoresheet while playing pretty loose in the offensive zone. It can’t get any worse for this Wings team at this point of the season, so don’t play uptight and attack the opposing goal with speed and aggression.