WGD: GAME 48, GOIN’ BACK-TO-BACK

january23

Less than 24 hours after the Red Wings dismantled the Sabres in the third period to win 3-0, they are back in Detroit to take on the Anaheim Ducks. 

Anaheim was supposed to be playing in the second game of a back-to-back as well, but their game on Friday was cancelled due to a winter storm in Washington D.C. 

Tonight will be the Red Wings’ 10th back-to-back game of the season. So far, they are 4-4-1 while averaging 2.56 goals per game in their first nine back-to-back games. They beat the Ducks 2-1 just 13 days ago and Anaheim continues to struggle to find offence. Let’s break this matchup down. 

THE RED WINGS

Detroit Red Wings lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

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Dylan Larkin was reunited with Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader last night and they worked some magic. Larkin was the first star of the game, registering the game-winning goal and a beauty assist. The top-six is expected to remain intact, but Brad Richards is expected to be back in the lineup and Joakim Andersson is expected to come out after being placed on waivers on Friday. 

The blueline is expected to stay exactly the same. It has to be taken as a positive that this team has only given up two goals in two games without Niklas Kronwall. His surgery was perfectly timed so that he wouldn’t miss too many games (because of the All Star break but, so far so good. 

THE DUCKS

Anaheim Ducks Lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

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Friday’s game was moved up to 5:00 p.m. before being postponed, so the Ducks did not have a morning skate. These lines are from their previous game and as you can see, Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry have been split up. 

Tonight will be the Red Wings first look at David Perron in a Ducks uniform. He was acquired last week from Pittsburgh for Carl Hagelin and has two points (1G / 1A) in his first two games with Anaheim. 

This Ducks team ranks last in overall scoring, but they’ve been especially terrible on the road—they come in with a league-worst 1.37 goals per game on the road. 

STARTING IN GOAL

Head coach Jeff Blashill did not name a starter following Friday’s win, so it remains to be seen if it will be Petr Mrazek again or Jimmy Howard for the first time since January 11th. Mrazek posted a 19-save shutout last night, so the light workload should enable him to play again tonight, but they could elect to give Howie a shot. Howard has not registered a win since December 3rd, losing his last six starts while posting a brutal 3.63 GAA and .893 SV%. 

The Red Wings probably would have seen Frederik Andersen on the second of the Ducks’ back-to-back, but with yesterday’s postponement, John Gibson will likely start tonight. Gibson has gone 10-7-2 with a 1.86 GAA and .925 SV% on the season and he stopped 22 of 24 shots in the Red Wings 2-1 win two weeks ago. 

WORDS FROM THE ENEMY

The Red Wings and Ducks had a pretty hilarious twitter exchange yesterday, highlighted by the Ducks asking for soup when they arrive and Detroit only offering up octopus…Naturally. 

That’s quite the blizzard though. Not really the weather people from Anaheim are used to, but these are hockey players. Glad to see the Ducks arrived safely and looking for to tonight’s game! 

WHERE TO WATCH

Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. ET at Joe Louis Arena. You can watch it on Fox Sports Detroit or listen to it on 97.1 FM The Ticket. 

Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter; we’ll have live tweets, GIFS, and all the fun stuff that a topical social media platform has.