Gameday Updates: Detroit Red Wings vs. Columbus Blue Jackets, Line Combinations, Key Matchups

Right off the bat we're making some educated guesses on the lineup because we apparently won't know for certain until gametime

But here are some hints...

Red Wings Expected Line-up

Tomas Tatar Henrik Zetterberg Anthony Mantha
Dylan Larkin Frans Nielsen Luke Glendening
Gustav Nyquist Riley Sheahan Thomas Vanek
Andreas Athanasiou Steve Ott Tomas Jurco
Danny DeKeyser Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson Xavier Ouellet
Niklas Kronwall Alexei Marchenko
Petr Mrazek (Starting)
Jimmy Howard

Blue Jackets Expected Lineup

Brandon Saad Alexander Wennberg Nick Foligno
Boone Jenner Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell William Karlsson Josh Anderson
Matt Calvert Lukas Sedlak Sam Gagner
Seth Jones David Werenski
Jack Johnson David Savard
Ryan Murray Markus Nutivaara
Sergei Bobrovsky (Starting)
Curtis McElhinney

Key Matchups

Columbus PP vs Red Wings PK - Columbus is lethal on the power play. They are operating at 25% on the advantage, which is tops in the NHL. However, Detroit has only allowed one power play goal over the last 10 games and they are perfect in the month of December. Even with Detroit's renaissance on the kill, it will be in their best interests to stay out of the box and keep the top power play off the ice.

Detroit vs. their changing lineup - I can not come up with enough superlatives to describe the line of Tatar, Mantha, Zetterberg, but the rest of the lineup has been constantly tinkered with due to injuries and coaching decisions. The last few games have seen both Larkin and Nyquist spend time on the 4th line. While some of the line changes are unavoidable, it would be nice to see some consistency in the lineup as the Wings start to get some regulars off the IR.

Turn home ice back into an advantage - This is the start of a five game stretch at home for the Wings and Joe Louis Arena has not been kind to them of late. After a 4-0 start to the season at home, Detroit has gone 2-6-2 at the Joe. This homestand is crucial if Detroit wants to get back into a playoff spot.