Boy, the Red Wings sure know how to make things interesting don’t they? If you missed last night’s game for whatever reason, check out Nick’s Post Game for a full report, but here’s a brief synopsis. The Red Wings basically dominated the whole game and Luke Glendening added an empty netter to make it 3-0 with three minutes to go. Somehow the Sabres made it 3-1 10 seconds later and then a one-goal game with a1:49 left. That left us puckered up and terrified for the final minute-plus, but we held on for the 3-2 win and a crucial two points.
Meanwhile in Philadelphia, the Flyers were forced to overtime against the Jets. Winnipeg actually had some glorious chances in the extra frame but frequently missed the net. The Red Wings’ new biggest nightmare, Shayne Gostisbehere made a sensational play to keep the puck in the offensive zone and get it to Claude Giroux who won it with 13 seconds left.
Despite the win, the standings look very similar to the one I posted in yesterday’s Game Day Blog. Detroit is still tied with the Flyers (who have a game in-hand), but are now just one-point behind the Boston Bruins for third in the Atlantic. The Bruins are in New Jersey tonight where hopefully the young Scott Wedgewood can continue to stand on his head. Wouldn’t it be nice to get two points and leap from outside looking in to third in the Atlantic!
Tonight’s matchup between the Red Wings and Canadiens will be the fourth and final meeting of the season. Detroit will be looking to take the season series 3-1 and should come in as a fairly confident bunch after playing very well against the Habs last Thursday. Detroit has averaged 2.67 goals per game and 3.00 goals against in three games against Montreal this season. Let’s break this one down!
THE RED WINGS
Yesterday I said I wanted to see Alexey Marchenko back in the lineup vs. Buffalo and I got my wish, but Brendan Smith was the unfortunate defenseman who was healthy scratched. Jonathan Ericsson actually played well yesterday for the most part, but I’m not quite sure what he was doing on the Sabres’ first goal and I would still love to see him come out of the lineup, even for just a game.
Pavel Datsyuk did not pick up a point yesterday, but he had one of his best games in recent memory. He pick pocketed countless Sabres and had an overall great game. However, it was the trio of Dylan Larkin, Henrik Zetterberg and Justin Abdelkader that was the Red Wings’ best last night. Each of them finished the game with a 5v5 Corsi of 66.67% or higher despite starting more than three-quarters of their shifts in the defensive zone. They took over the game on nearly every shift and will need them to do that again tonight.
Tonight’s lineup is very similar to the lineup that Montreal put on the ice at Joe Louis Arena last Thursday. The only change appears to be Sven Andrighetto will play after missing the last meeting. Thankfully for the Red Wings, P.K Subban will sit for at least another game with a neck injury and Carey Price remains without a timetable for his return, so we don’t have to worry about him getting the start.
The Red Wings will need to contain the Habs’ top line of Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk and Paul Byron, who combined for two goals and one assist last Thursday.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Head coach Jeff Blashill refused to announce his starting goalie after last night’s game, but you have to think that Petr Mrazek gets the start on the tail-end of the back-to-back. It is hard to evaluate Jimmy Howard’s performance last night because he only faced nine shots in the first two periods and then allowed two goals on 11 shots (.818 SV%) in the third period. Mrazek has struggled in March, posting a 3-5-0 record, 3.55 GAA and .889 SV%, but he has started each of the three games vs. Montreal this season. In those outings, he has gone 2-1-0 with a 2.68 GAA and .915 SV%.
The Canadiens have yet to announce a starting goalie either. Mike Condon started their last game and was torched for five goals on just 19 shots and Ben Scrivens played well against Detroit last Thursday, so I would expect Scrivens to get the call again. Scrivens has gone 2-3-0 with a 3.17 GAA and .913 SV% in March and is 4-1-0 wit ha 2.02 GAA and. 931 SV% in five starts at the Bell Centre.
IN THE LAST MEETING…
An early 4-0 lead would be nice again, but let’s hope we don’t try to throw it away again. There’s no doubt in my mind that the Red Wings have been detrimental to our health this year.
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m ET at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec. 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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