Could this be the start to another long winning streak for the Red Wings? Probably not, but it’s good to have hope! When you look at the Red Wings’ upcoming schedule, it seems more likely that another losing streak is coming. Detroit will be in tough tonight against the unbeatable Carey Price and follow that up with games against Tampa Bay and Washington.
Let’s focus on tonight’s two-points first. After one game at home, the Red Wings are back on the road, where they are 3-2-1 so far this season. They’re in Montreal to take on a Canadiens team that is 9-0-0 on home ice and 12-1-1 overall.
The Red Wings have had a difficult time with the Habs over the years, going 4-6-2 with 2.42 goals for and 3.08 goals against per game over the last three seasons.
How these teams stack up:
|Detroit Red Wings||Montreal Canadiens|
|Goals For||2.60 GF/PG (19th)||3.29 GF/PG (4th)|
|Goals Against||2.53 GA/PG (t-12th)||2.14 GA/PG (2nd)|
|Power-Play %||16.7% (18th)||18.6% (t-13th)|
|Penalty Kill %||80.4% (17th)||78.9% (23rd)|
|CorsiFor %||46.19% (30th)||47.90% (24th)|
THE RED WINGS
Red Wings fans will get to see a player they’ve been waiting for since training camp, Anthony Mantha. The problem is comes at the expense of Andreas Athanasiou, who will miss 1-2 weeks with a sprained knee. Mantha had a strong preseason and carried that over into the AHL season. The 22-year-old winger is currently tied for the AHL-lead in goals with eight and has added two assists (10 points) in 10 games. Mantha is from Longueuil, Quebec, which is just 18 minutes away from Montreal, so tonight won’t just be his season debut but a homecoming as well. Mantha only appeared in 10 games with the Red Wings last year, but two of them were against the Canadiens and he scored in each of those games, for his only two NHL goals so far. Mantha replacing Athanasiou will be the only change from Thursday’s lineup. He will skate in the top-6 with Tomas Tatar and Frans Nielsen, which means Dylan Larkin will join Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist on the top-line.
After scoring on Thursday, Larkin now leads the Red Wings with five goals. Even Steve Ott got on the board vs. Vancouver, which leaves Jonathan Ericsson, Riley Sheahan and Alexey Marchenko as the only regulars who don’t have a goal this season. Zetterberg remains the hottest Red Wing, having picked up two goals and four assists (six points) in his last five games.
The Canadiens are paced by their top-line duo of Alex Galchenyuk and Alexander Radulov. Galchenyuk leads the squad with 14 points (6G / 8A) in 14 games, with Radulov lagging just two points behind (3G / 9A). Shea Weber was part of one of the most surprising trades of the summer and he got off to a hot-start in Montreal, but has just two goals and no assists in his last seven games.
You can’t forget about Max Pacioretty or Brendan Gallagher, who have been key contributors over the years. Pacioretty scores 30 goals nearly every season, but has had a slow start, picking up just two goals in his first 14 games. Hopefully he doesn’t catch fire tonight. Veteran David Desharnais was a healthy scratch on Thursday and there’s no word whether he will be back in the lineup tonight.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
It shouldn’t come as any surprise, but Jimmy Howard will make his fourth consecutive start for the Red Wings. He stopped 36 of 37 shots in Thursday’s win and has posted a 2-1-0 record, 1.64 GAA and .944 SV% in his last three starts. On the year, Howie leads the NHL with a 1.22 GAA and .961 SV%.
He is expected to go head-to-head with the NHL’s best netminder. Price leads the NHL with nine wins and isn’t far behind Howard with a 1.56 GAA (3rd) and .953 SV% (2nd). Price has yet to lose a game this season, which is terrifying, but maybe the Red Wings are the team to hand him his first defeat in a long, long time.
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. ET at the Bell Centre in Montreal. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit and SportsNet or listen to it on 97.1 FM The Ticket.
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