The Red Wings were able to squeak out a win in New Jersey last night and was arguably one of their better performances of the season. Detroit’s season has been full of winning and losing streaks (L2-W6-L5-W2-L4-W2) and hopefully this is just the beginning of another winning streak.
That’s probably just wishful thinking, seeing as Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens are in town. Montreal leads the NHL with 32 points (15-4-2) and have the best goalie in the World and he is expected to be in goal tonight.
Detroit was destroyed by the Canadiens in their first meeting, but let’s see how these two teams match-up tonight:
|Detroit Red Wings||Montreal Canadiens|
|Goals For||2.38 GF/PG (t-23rd)||3.10 GF/PG (t-3rd)|
|Goals Against||2.67 GA/PG (t-18th)||2.19 GA/PG (4th)|
|Power-Play||14.9% (22nd)||22.7% (5th)|
|Penalty-Kill||79.7% (t-22nd)||82.5% (15th)|
|Corsi||46.05 CF% (28th)||49.74 CF% (15th)|
THE RED WINGS
The Red Wings’ lineup is expected to be the exact same as last night. Detroit has won two in a row and it looks like their offensive trios are starting to take place. Tomas Tatar-Henrik Zetterberg-Anthony Mantha were great last night and continue to be the Red Wings’ top-line. Zetterberg is a strong playmaker and Mantha is proving he is NHL-ready. Mantha had a beautiful snipe last night and now has two goals and two assists (four points) in his last five games.
Another line that is taking place is Gustav Nyquist-Dylan Larkin-Thomas Vanek. Vanek and Nyquist showed great chemistry with Darren Helm early in the season and have picked up where they left off with Vanek back in the lineup. Larkin’s shift back to centre has gone well and this line could become an offensive force.
Mike Green had been in an offensive dry spell, but picked up the game-winner last night and hopefully he can find his early-season rhythm again.
The Canadiens are down a few skaters, but none of their key skaters. Nathan Beaulieu is out on the blueline, which means Greg Pateryn and Mark Barberio will make-up their third pairing. Up front, Charles Hudon is out, so Daniel Carr draws back in.
In the first meeting between these two teams, super pest Andrew Shaw had a three-point (1G / 2A) game, while Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk and Philip Danault each had two points of their own. Galchenyuk has been great this season, picking up 21 points (8G / 13A) in 21 games and he is followed closely by Shea Weber (8G / 9A), Andrei Markov (2G / 15A) and Alex Radulov (4G / 13A) who each have 17 points.
This offence is extremely balanced and a lot of offence comes from their blueline. The Red Wings are in tough, but if they’re going to be a playoff team, they have to start beating playoff teams.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Jimmy Howard left yesterday’s game with a groin injury and will miss at least one week, so Jared Coreau has been recalled and he is expected to backup Petr Mrazek tonight. Mrazek allowed three goals on 16 shots after replacing Howard last night and things haven’t been pretty for Mrazek. In his last four starts and last night, Mrazek has a 4.42 GAA and .839 SV%. With Howard out, Mrazek needs to reset and find his game.
For the Canadiens, look for Price to be in goal again. Price has won 12 of his 14 starts this season while posting a 1.71 GAA, .945 SV% and two shutouts. In the first meeting, Price turned aside all 25 shots he faced in the 5-0 shutout win.
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. ET at Joe Louis Arena. You can watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit or you can listen to it on 97.1 FM The Ticket.
Also, make sure to follow us on Twitter; we’ll have live tweets, GIFS, and all the fun stuff that a topical social media platform has.