Morning Skate: Rangers at Red Wings

2:00p ET, Joe Louis Arena

Detroit, MI


Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket // 1270 AM CBS Sports Radio

Rangers Blog: Blueshirt Banter

Whew! I nearly forgot what the Red Wings winning felt like. Obviously it didn't start out well, with the Wings digging themselves into a 2-0 hole at the end of the first period, which included Captain Henrik Zetterberg getting absolutely walked by Tyler Myers. Like, it was painful to watch. But the Wings dug in, Larkin got his 20th goal, Jonathan Ericsson tied Brendan Smith for goals this year, and Justin Abdelkader earned his shiny new contract that's going to kick in next season. That was a big two points going forward here, and a relief to complete the comeback they'd failed at in the previous three games.

Today we welcome a much better team into the hallowed halls of Joe Louis. The Rangers are here to play part one of a weekend back-to-back before we meet the surging Flyers on Tuesday. The Wings have only met the Rangers once this season, handing them their only shutout loss on the year. That game was the story of Jimmy Howard's redemption, because Tiberius' strong play got his team a point on a day his teammates couldn't get a goal.

The Rangers have Henrik Lundqvist back in the lineup after he was out suffering from neck spasms. Rick Nash is making his return too. How very kind of them to do so against the Wings. We know the Rangers are a pretty good team, a heck of a lot better than the last two opponents the Wings faced. So now that we've snapped the losing streak, we've got to see the mettle of the Wings show through. Win against a good opponent and that could be a boost going into tomorrow's game versus Toronto.

So will the Wings immediately go back to "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" following a win? We're not really sure. There was an optional practice for the Wings yesterday, but Blashill declined to comment on possible changes to the lines. Petr Mrazek is expected to start, however. Might we see more deployment of the kids for the back-to-back? One can only hope.

Red Wings Expected Lineups


Justin Abdelkader Henrik Zetterberg Dylan Larkin
Tomas Tatar Pavel Datsyuk Andreas Athanasiou
Gustav Nyquist Riley Sheahan Teemu Pulkkinen
Darren Helm Luke Glendening Brad Richards


Danny DeKeyser Kyle Quincey
Niklas Kronwall Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson Brendan Smith


Petr Mrazek (starting)
Jimmy Howard

Scratches: Tomas Jurco, Alexey Marchenko

Injuries: Drew Miller (torn meniscus/ACL surgery), Johan Franzen (concussion)

Rangers Expected Lineups


Rick Nash Eric Staal Viktor Stalberg
J.T. Miller Derek Stepan Mats Zuccarello
Chris Kreider Kevin Hayes Jesper Fast
Oscar Lindberg Dominic Moore Tanner Glass


Ryan McDonagh Dan Girardi
Keith Yandle Kevin Klein
Brady Skjei Dan Boyle


Henrik Lundqvist (starting)
Antti Raanta

39-22-6 (84 pts; 2nd in Metropolitan) Record 33-23-11 (77 pts; 4th in Atlantic)
2.82 (7th in NHL) Goals Per Game 2.51 (22nd in NHL)
2.55 (13th) Goals Against Per Game 2.60 (16th)
18.2% (18th) Power Play % 17.1% (24th)
77.4% (27th) Penalty Kill % 80.7% (18th)
Derick Brassard (24 goals) Goals Leader Dylan Larkin (20 goals)
Mats Zuccarello (51 points) Points Leader Henrik Zetterberg (42 points)

Let's Go Red Wings!!!


Game Day Prediction Contest

Would you like to predict the outcome of the game and potentially become internet famous? Well you're in luck, because here's your opportunity. Here's how it works.

Make your game predictions on the winning team, final score, and who the Wings player of the game will be. Enter the required information into the form below using the formats indicated in the questions. If you don't use those formats, your answers will be disregarded. All submissions are timestamped and will be accepted only until the official game start time. All other submissions after that will be disregarded. Only one submission per person, please. POTG will be determined by the collective of WiiM writers.

Each correct winning team prediction is worth 1 point. Each correct player of the game prediction is worth 2 points. Each correct final score prediction is worth 5 points. If you get all three correct you'll receive 15 points.