Morning Skate: Red Wings at Panthers

7:30p ET, BB&T Center

Sunrise, FL

TV: Fox Sports Detroit-Plus

Radio: 97.1 The Ticket/1270 AM

Panther Blog: Litter Box Cats

The Red Wings are bad.

The Red Wings are injured.

The Red Wings are rapidly approaching the point (if it's not already here) that a hail mary is the only way they can salvage their season.

Tonight is a nice opportunity to get the ball moving though. Last night, the Panthers lost 3-1 at home to the Bruins (the team the Wings are chasing for the final playoff spot in the Atlantic. Detroit is 7 points back now). I know the Wings have not done well previously this season against teams in the 2nd night of a back-to-back, but maybe their luck will change tonight?

Despite the injuries, three of the Wings' five best players will be suited up tonight. We know we'll see Henrik Zetterberg, Thomas Vanek and Steve Ott out on the ice. The Wings will need Ott to spark this team early and bring energy to players like Tomas Tatar and Gus Nyquist so they can score goals. The dimensions he brings to this team can't be quantified and calculated with analytics and advanced numbers and math.

As far as the rest of the lineup goes?


No line rushes from the diggers yesterday at practice. We'll have updates after the Red Wings skate later this morning.

It should also be noted that the Maple Leafs 6-0 win over the Avalanche last night means the Red Wings are officially dead last in the Atlantic Division. Think that's bad? If the Wings lose in regulation to the Panthers and the Islanders beat the Sabres in any fashion tonight... Detroit drops to last place in the Eastern Conference entering the holiday break.



Detroit Expected Lineup


Tomas Tatar Henrik Zetterberg Anthony Mantha
Gus Nyquist Frans Nielsen Thomas Vanek
Dylan Larkin Riley Sheahan Luke Glendening
Steve Ott Andreas Athanasiou Tomas Jurco


Danny DeKeyser Ryan Sproul
Jonathan Ericsson Xavier Ouellet
Niklas Kronwall Nick Jensen


Petr Mrazek
Jared Coreau

Scratches: Brian Lashoff

Injuries: Mike Green, Jimmy Howard, Alexey Marchenko, Darren Helm, Justin Abdelkader, Tyler Bertuzzi & Brendan Smith

Panthers Expected Lineup


Seth Griffith Aleksander Barkov Jaromir Jagr
Jonathan Marchessault Vincent Trocheck Reilly Smith
Jussi Jokinen Denis Malgin Nick Bjugstad
Colton Sceviour Derek MacKenzie Shawn Thornton


Kieth Yandle Aaron Ekblad
Mark Pysyk Michael Matheson
Jason Demers Jakub Kindl


James Reimer
Mike McKenna


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.