It’s been a good couple of days in Detroit. First the Red Wings and Pistons announced that there will be basketball at the new Little Caesars Arena, then the Red Wings finally snapped their losing streak and finally the Detroit Lions won their annual Thanksgiving game!
The Red Wings’ shootout win moved them to one game under .500 and tonight they have another winnable game in New Jersey. The Devils currently hold the final Wild Card spot, and have not lost in regulation on home-ice (7-0-1) this season.
The Red Wings were 1-1-1 against the Devils a season ago and have gone 6-2-1 in the last three seasons. The Devils are always one of the lowest scoring teams in the NHL, but usually thanks to their very defensively sound game and strong goaltending.
Let’s take a look at how these two teams match-up against each other:
|Detroit Red Wings||New Jersey Devils|
|Goals For||2.25 GF/PG (26th)||2.32 GF/PG (24th)|
|Goals Against||2.60 GA/PG (17th)||2.42 GA/PG (10th)|
|Power-Play||15.5% (22nd)||12.9% (25th)|
|Penalty-Kill||79.7% (24th)||80.7% (21st)|
|Corsi||45.41 CF% (30th)||49.25 CF% (19th)|
THE RED WINGS
The Red Wings have only made one change to their lineup from Wednesday’s win. Tomas Tatar will skate on the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Anthony Mantha, while Justin Abdelkader drops down a line to play with Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening.
Thomas Vanek’s return was key in Wednesday’s win and his chemistry with Gustav Nyquist appears to be improving every game. The dup will likely skate together for the foreseeable future and Dylan Larkin is a great third member of that line, as long as he can be successful in the face-off dot—Larkin won 55 percent of his draws on Wednesday.
The blueline will remain the same and it’s going to be tough to Jeff Blashill to get Ryan Sproul out of the lineup the way he has been playing as of late. His excellent pas to Vanek was the reason the Red Wings were able to score vs. Buffalo and gives him one goal and four assists in nine games this season.
Thankfully for the Red Wings, the Devils are still without their best skater in Taylor Hall, who remains sidelined with a knee injury. However, the Devils will get a forward back with Kyle Palmieri returning after a two-game absence. On Wednesday they got Michael Cammalleri back and he had a massive performance, picking up one goal, three assists and nine shots on goal.
The Red Wings will see a familiar face as they take on former Red Wing defenseman Kyle Quincey, who is on-pace for 22 points (9G / 13A), which would be more points than he every had in four and a half seasons with the Red Wings.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Jimmy Howard vs. Cory Schneider.
Howard’s excellent 2016-17 season continued on Wednesday. He stopped 32 of 33 shots in the Red Wings’ shootout win and now carries a .943 SV% across 11 appearances this season. Howard has gone 3-2-0 with a 2.08 GAA and .931 SV% on the road this season. Howie is 3-2-1 with a 2.55 GAA and .892 SV% in seven career starts vs. New Jersey.
Schneider remains one of the best goaltenders in the NHL. Wednesday wasn’t his best night. He allowed four goal on 31 shots in the Devils’ shootout win versus Toronto. The 30-year-old netminder is now 7-0-0 with a 1.95 GAA and .931 SV% in seven starts on home-ice this season and is 3-6-1 with a 2.99 GAA and .897 SV% in 11 career games vs. Detroit.
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m. ET at the Prudential Center in New Jersey. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit-PLUS or you can listen to it on 97.1 FM The Ticket.
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