The Red Wings had a slow start following the All-Star break, but they have now rattled off three consecutive wins heading into tonight’s Stadium Series preview. A rivalry will be renewed tonight with an all too familiar foe in town.
Like I said, the Red Wings have won three in a row, while outscoring the opposition 11-2 and the Avalanche come in having lost four of their last five, but won 4-3 over the Senators last night. Detroit sits second in the Atlantic with 64 points while Colorado is holding down the first Wild Card spot in the West with 60 points. Let’s break it down.
THE RED WINGS
*MORNING SKATE UPDATE* Mike Green will return to the Red Wings blueline after missing the last two games with a tweaked groin. Jakub Kindl will serve as a healthy scratch. Niklas Kronwall (knee) also took part in the morning skate, but is not eligible to play until Sunday. The forwards will remain the same as Wednesday.
Danny DeKeyser left Wednesday’s game after blocking a shot and you could feel the air come out of the Joe Louis Arena, but DeKeyser is fine and will be in the lineup tonight.
The Euro Twins, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, have looked fantastic together since being reunited last week. Datsyuk comes in on a three-game point streak, scoring two goals and three assists in his last three. Dylan Larkin has five points (3G / 2A) in his last four and Tomas Tatar comes in with five points (2G / 3A) in his last five. The Red Wings’ offence is clicking right now and they’ll look to keep things rolling against a tired Avs squad.
The Avalanche shook things up heading into Thursday’s game to enable them to roll four lines to stay fresh for the back-to-back. Their lineup looks balanced, but no one line strikes fear into the hearts of Red Wings’ fans.
Apparent fourth liner, Jarome Iginla leads the Avalanche with a four-game point streak, scoring two goals and four assists over that span. Blake Comeau has enjoyed his time on the top line and he comes in with two goals and four assists his is last six games while Carl Soderberg enters play with on goal and five assists in his last six.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
The Red Wings did not announce their starting goaltender for Friday, but it’s going to be Petr Mrazek. He is coming off of a 22-save performance on Wednesday and has won three in a row while stopping 73 of 75 shots (.973 SV%). He comes into play as the NHL’s leader in goals against average (1.94) and save percentage (.934). Tonight will be his third career start vs. the Avalanche—he has gone 1-0-1 with a 0.48 GAA, .980 SV% and one shutout in the first two meetings.
Avalanche head coach Patrick Roy said in his post game interview that there is an 80 percent chance that he goes back to Semyon Varlamov. Varly allowed three goals on 29 shots in the Avs’ win in Ottawa. He has gone 1-2-0 while allowing a combined 10 goals on 96 shots (.896 SV%) in his last three starts.
FAREWELL SEASON 2017
— Paul Lukas (@UniWatch) February 11, 2016
This is typically where I post a tweet from the enemy and take a jab at them, but I figure that the Joe Louis Arena farewell season jersey patch is a little more exciting. In case you were wondering, the four stars represent the four Stanley Cups the Red Wings won at The Joe. Also, here is the brawl because you can’t get sick of watching Darren McCarty ? pummel Claude Lemieux ?.
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck drop is at 7:30 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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