Tonight’s game took on an interesting title on Tuesday afternoon: Dion Phaneuf’s Senators debut. Yesterday, the Senators acquired their Provincial rivals captain in a massive nine-player deal in which Ottawa basically gave up two roster players (one on IR) and all of their bad contracts to Toronto for Phaneuf and his grotesque deal. As awful as Phaneuf’s contract is, he slides in for Jared Cowen (who is now a Maple Leaf) and immediately makes the Senators blueline better. 

Here is the full trade in case you live under a rock and missed it yesterday! 

As for the Red Wings, they are coming off of a huge 3-0 win over the Florida Panthers and have now won two straight while outscoring the opposition 8-1. Tonight will mark the fourth meeting of the season between these two teams. The Red Wings lead the season-series 2-1 and have averaged 3.33 goals per game and 3.00 goals against vs. the Senators. If the first three meetings were any indication, this will be a high scoring, close affair. Let’s break it down! 


Detroit Red Wings lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

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The players in the Red Wings lineup will look exactly the same as they did on Monday, but the line combinations will look a little different from how they started that game. These lines were used throughout Monday’s win and they were the ones the Red Wings used in Tuesday’s practice. 

After a couple great games, Tomas Jurco will start on the third line tonight and Darren Helm will go to the fourth line. On the blueline, Jakub Kindl will remain in the lineup with Mike Green still sidelined with a groin injury. With Green out, Danny DeKeyser played his second most minutes (25:32) of the season and had arguably one of his best games. 

Special teams are going to be huge tonight, like they normally are. Aside from the Tampa Bay game, the Red Wings penalty kill has been on fire as of late. They gave up to PPG’s in that contest, but they’ve killed up 25 of 28 penalties (89.3%) in their last eight games. The Senators come in with the worst PK in the NHL at 74.6%. Also, I can’t talk about the Red Wings without saying Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg. Just wow. 


Ottawa Senators Lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

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The Senators have a few forwards you probably have never heard of, but they also have a bunch of forwards who are no strangers to putting the puck in the back of the net. Bobby Ryan and Mark Stone have led the Senators in their first three meetings with the Red Wings—Ryan has three goals and one assist and Stone has one goal three assists. 

Again, their blueline will look different tonight with Phaneuf playing alongside Cody Ceci. Patrick Wiercioch will serve as a healthy scratch. As nice as the addition of Phaneuf is, Erik Karlsson is still the straw that stirs the Senators’ drink. He rarely makes mistakes, so the Wings will need to take advantage of the other two pairings. 


In a “no kidding” moment, the Red Wings will go with Petr Mrazek in net for the third straight game. He is coming off of a 23-save shutout and has stopped 52 of 53 shots (.981 SV%) in the Red Wings’ back-to-back wins. Mrazek now leads the NHL in goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.933) on the year. 

Craig Anderson will make his seventh consecutive start tonight. Like Mrazek, he comes in with back-to-back wins while stopping 57 of 59 shots (.966 SV%). However, the veteran netminder has struggled against the Red Wings this season. This will be his third start vs. Detroit and he’s gone 0-1-1 while allowing nine combined goals on 74 shots (.878 SV%). 


Boy am I glad the Red Wings didn’t take on that mammoth contract at the deadline last year.


Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. ET at Joe Louis Arena. The game will be televised locally on Fox Sports Detroit and aired on 97.1 FM The Ticket. 

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