WGD: GAME 57, PRESIDENTS’ DAY MATINEE

feb15

The Red Wings wrapped up their Valentine’s Day matinee at 6:10 p.m ET and less than 19 hours later will be on the ice in Brooklyn, New York to take on the New York Islanders for the third time in three weeks. Sunday’s 6-5 win over the Boston Bruins was anything but pretty, but the only thing that matters is the two points they gained in the standings. 

The Red Wings have won the first two meetings between these two teams, but they are bound to be tired after Sunday’s marathon and completing the season sweep will not be easy. The Wings and Islanders have split the last eight meetings with Detroit going 5-3-1. More often than not, it is a high-scoring affair between these squad and the Red Wings have averaged an impressive 3.4 goals per game in the aforementioned eight games. Let’s break this one down! 

THE RED WINGS

Detroit Red Wings Lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

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There’s not much to say that hasn’t already been said about the Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader line. The “Euro Twins” took over Sunday’s game vs. the Bruins and have combined for eight goals and eight assists (16 points) in five games since being reunited. However, Datsyuk left Sunday in the late stages of the game with a suspected wrist injury, but head coach Jeff Blashill expects him to be in the lineup this afternoon. In addition to Datsyuk, Gustav Nyquist left Sunday’s game, only to return later and is also expected to play vs. the Islanders

Blashill didn’t hint at any possible lineup changes, so look for Jonathan Ericsson (lower-body), Jakub Kindl and Teemu Pulkkinen to be scratched again. Xavier Oullet picked up one assist in 16:30 TOI and finished his season debut with a rock solid 61.9 Corsi For%. 

THE ISLANDERS

New York Islanders Lines courtesy of Daily Faceoff

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The Islanders mixed up their lines throughout the game on Saturday, so it is unclear what they will look like when the puck drops this afternoon. Cal Clutterbuck missed Saturday’s contest with an illness, but skated on Sunday and is expected to play vs. the Red Wings. 

I remember writing a few weeks ago that the snowed out game seemed to wake some of the Ducks players up and I think the same can be said about a number of Islanders players. Since their game against the Flyers was cancelled back on January 23rd, John Tavares has picked up 12 points (5G / 7A) in eight games, Kyle Okposo has nine points (3G / 6A) and defenseman Nick Leddy has seven (1G / 6A). 

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Neither team announced their starter, but it is shaping up as a battle of the backups. Petr Mrazek struggled at times on Sunday and has started the last five games, so Jimmy Howard could get a shot this afternoon. Howard has not recorded a win since December 3rd, having lost his last eight starts (0-5-3) while posting a 3.93 GAA and .885 SV%. 

Jaroslav Halak was shelled for six goals on Saturday, so Thomas Greiss might get the nod. Greiss has won his last four starts while posting a 2.50 GAA and .918 SV% He has not faced the Red Wings yet this season, but he comes in with a 9-3-2 record, 2.18 GAA and .928 SV% on home ice. 

THE 900 CLUB!

Congratulations to Pavel Datsyuk on recording his 900th career point on Sunday. He had two goals and one assist yesterday, which was points 900, 901 and 902. His 902 career points ranks Datsyuk sixth in Red Wings Franchise history behind only Gordie Howe (1809), Steve Yzerman (1755), Alex Delvecchio (1281), Nicklas Lidstrom (1142) and fellow Russian Sergei Fedorov (954). 

WHERE TO WATCH

Puck drop is at 1:00 p.m. ET at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The game will be televised locally on Fox Sports Detroit and aired on 97.1 FM The Ticket. 

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