Those Stadium Game have really watered down outdoor games because there are so many every season, but it is still really cool when your team is in one. Fake snow was flying all over the place and the Red Wings walked away with a 5-3 win after a few last minute goals. They’ve now won two in a row vs. the Blue Jackets and Avalanche and tonight they face a Stars team that has stumbled lately, dropping five of their last six while being outscored 27-17.
The Red wings are currently holding onto the first Wild Card spot, one point behind Boston, with one-game in hand. Tonight is the start of a tough week for the Red Wings, who have a home-and-home with the Blackhawks on Wednesday and Sunday. But, let’s break down tonight’s matchup with the Stars.
THE RED WINGS
The Red Wings lineup will look exactly the same as it did in Saturday’s win over the Avalanche. Brendan Smith and Teemu Pulkkinen will remain healthy scratches. Even with scoring five goals on Saturday, the Red Wings are averaging just 2.00 goals per game in their last six games. Some of the lack of scoring can be put on Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, who have played very well, but have been held off of the score sheet in four straight games.
The Stars acquired Kris Russell from the Calgary Flames before today’s trade deadline, but he is not expected to be in the lineup tonight. Patrick Sharp didn’t skate with Tyler Seguin and Jamie Benn on Saturday, but skated on that line in the morning skate. Former Red Wing prospect Mattias Janmark is expected to skate on the second line alongside Jason Spezza. Seguin has led the team with 15 points (7G / 8A) in February, followed by Benn and John Klingberg, who both have 12 points over that span.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Petr Mrazek is day-to-day with a “tender groin,” so Jimmy Howard will get the nod with Jared Coreau coming up from Grand Rapids (AHL) to back him up. Howard is still searching for his first win since December 3rd, but is coming off of his best performance in a long time—he stopped 29 of 30 shots in a 1-0 OT loss to the Rangers.
Antti Niemi gets the call for the Stars. Kari Lehtonen started the first meeting between these two teams and Niemi was yanked in his last outing, but he has tremendous numbers in his career vs. the Red Wings—13-3-2. Niemi comes in a 4-2-0 with a 3.84 GAA and .862 SV% since the All Star break.
IN THE FIRST MEETING…
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck drop is at 8:30 p.m ET at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas. You can watch it on Fox Sports Detroit. If you aren’t near a television, you can catch it on the Radio with WXYT-FM 97.1 The Ticket.
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