WGD: GAME 49, RED WINGS @ ISLANDERS

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Monday night’s game vs. the New York Islanders will be the Red Wings’ final game before the All Star break, where they’ll get a much needed break. Tonight’s contest will be a battle between a tired team and a rested team. Unfortunately that tired team is the Red Wings, who will be playing their third game in four nights. Because of the blizzard that hit New York, the Islanders had their last game postponed and they come in having only played one game in the last week. 

Detroit comes into Monday at 1-2-1 while averaging just 2.00 goals per game in their last four, while the Islanders are 3-0-1 with 3.50 goals per game over that same span. A few things look like they’re working against the Red Wings, but it’s time to break down this matchup. 

THE RED WINGS

Detroit Red Wings lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

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The Red Wings had a back-to-back on Friday and Saturday, so they were given Sunday off as a rest day. Management did not get a break and they made some roster moves. Reportedly there is an unnamed forward and defenseman that are questionable for tonight’s game, so they recalled forward Eric Tangradi and defenseman Nick Jensen from Grand Rapids (AHL) and sent Joakim Andersson the other way. 

*** Morning Skate Update: Brad Richards skated on the second line with Pavel Datsyuk and Darren Helm, while Gustav Nyquist-Riley Sheahan-Tomas Tatar were reunited on the third line. ***

Pavel Datsyuk has been held off of the score sheet in the last two games, but leads the team with seven points (1G / 6A) in his last seven games. Mike Green has picked up two assists while averaging 21:30 TOI in three games since Niklas Kronwall went down with an injury. 

He doesn’t play for us anymore, but remember this guy?

THE ISLANDERS 

New York Islanders Lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

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The Islanders had a weird week because of the blizzard and couldn’t get on a big enough ice surface to have a full practice on Sunday, so these are their lines from Friday’s win in Ottawa. 

New York (Brooklyn) is eighth in the NHL in scoring and sixth in scoring on home ice, averaging 2.96 goals per game. It is surprising to see them rank so highly because John Tavares has had a down year, by his standards—he has picked things up recently, collecting four points (1G / 3A) in his last four games. The thing that has made the Isles successful as of late, is balanced scoring. Their top three lines are all producing and their fourth line is as physical as you will find in the NHL. 

STARTING IN GOAL

It will be Petr Mrazek vs. Jaroslav Halak in goal tonight. Mrazek will try to put a bow on what has been an exceptional month of January—in eight starts he is 6-1-1 with a 1.24 GAA, .955 SV% and two shutouts. Mrazek has also played very well on the road, going 11-4-0 with a 1.88 GAA and .941 SV% in 15 starts this season. 

The Islanders have a platoon of their own, but Halak starts the larger majority of games, so expect him to get the call tonight. He has won two of his last three with a1.30 GAA and .965 SV% and is 8-4-1 at Barclays Center this year. 

WORDS FROM THE ENEMY

Usually, I will try to take a dig at the other team in this section, but this is awesome. The road conditions were absolutely treacherous and Islanders goaltender Thomas Greiss spent his off day towing strangers out of the snow. Good for you Thomas! ??

WHERE TO WATCH

Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. ET at Barclays Center in Brookly. You can watch it on Fox Sports Detroit or listen to it on 97.1 FM The Ticket. 

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