Petr Mrazek is back! The Red Wings were able to hold onto a huge win over the Stars on Tuesday, thanks to an outstanding performance from Mrazek.
The Red Wings are playing well right now, having picked up at least one point in four straight games, going 3-0-1 while averaging 2.75 goals per game over that span. The offence appears to be waking up a bit and their CorsiFor% is starting to improve. Aside from a bad third on Tuesday, Detroit posted a 50.5 CF% at even-strength in their previous 11 periods—which is miles better than they’ve been this season.
Tonight will be the third meeting between the Red Wings and Panthers this season and Florida has got the better of Detroit so far this season. The Panthers have won each of the first two games while outscoring the Red Wings 9-3.
Let’s take a look at how these two teams match-up:
|Detroit Red Wings||Florida Panthers|
|Goals For||2.35 GF/PG (t-23rd)||2.43 GF/PG (19th)|
|Goals Against||2.57 GA/PG (15th)||2.52 GA/PG (14th)|
|Power-Play||16.0% (t-17th)||15.4% (t-21st)|
|Penalty-Kill||81.4% (20th)||81.8% (19th)|
|CorsiFor||46.14% (28th)||51.64% (10th)|
THE RED WINGS
Tomas Tatar and Niklas Kronwall weren’t on the ice on Wednesday, but both are expected to be in the lineup tonight. Tatar continues to be snakebitten. He is shooting more than he did last year, but is shooting a career-worst 5.9 percent through 23 games. We saw Tatar rip one off of the crossbar on Tuesday and was visibly distraught and in shock at how unlucky he has been. His on-ice shooting percentage of 5.30% shows that it’s not just him, but his linemates as well, which is why he has just seven points (3G / 4A) so far. However, the 96.81 PDO shows how unlucky he’s been so far and says there’s better days ahead, which would be huge for the Red Wings.
On a positive note, Anthony Mantha has been excellent for the Red Wings. He now has three goals and two assists in eight games since being called up and his analytical numbers are even more impressive. Right now he carries a 52.49 CorsiFor%, making him the only Red Wings forward with a positive Corsi this season. His 7.02 CF% relative to his team shows just how much better the Red Wings have been with Mantha on the ice versus when he’s not. Mantha is here to stay and the future looks bright for him.
On the blueline, Xavier Ouellet was back in on Tuesday and will play again tonight. Like Mantha, his advanced stats are pretty. He’s the only defenseman with a positive Corsi and his 6.36 CF& RelTM leads the unit, but with a small sample size of eight games. Unfortunately for Mike Green, he continues to skate with Danny DeKeyser, who has been an anchor for Green this year. When they play together, the pair has a 44.2 CF%, but Green carries a 53.0 CF% in limited minutes away from him. The real problem? DeKeyser has a hideous 35.4 CF% away from Green, so they really have no choice but to keep them together at this point.
* All advanced stats via puckalytics.com
Tonight will be the Panthers’ second game under their new head coach Tom Rowe. They lost their first game in a hard-fought shootout loss in Chicago and are a tough test for the Red Wings. As I mention every time the Red Wings play the Panthers, their second line murders us. Jussi Jokinen-Vincent Trocheck-Reilly Smith have combined for two goals and three assists in the first two games. However, it has been their two underrated offseason signings that killed the Red Wings in their first two meetings. In the first game it was Jonathan Marchessault with a goal and two assists and then Colton Sceviour with four points, including a hat-trick in the second.
With all that said, the Panthers’ offence comes into tonight ice cold. Florida has lost three of their last four (1-2-1) and have averaged just 1.25 goals per game over that span. Hopefully the Red Wings and Mrazek can keep that streak going.
BETWEEN THE PIPES
Petr Mrazek vs. Roberto Luongo.
Mrazek stopped 35 of 36 shots in Tuesday’s win over the Stars and has stopped 56 of the last 59 shots he’s faced (.949 SV%). Mrazek has struggled in his only two starts vs. Florida though. He has posted a 4.98 GAA and .851 SV% in the first two meetings of the year.
For Luongo, he comes in having gone 5-3-1 with a 1.96 GAA and .939 SV% in the month of November and he stopped 21 of 22 shots in the 4-1 win back in early October. James Reimer started the last games. the Red Wings.
WHERE TO WATCH
Puck drop is at 7:30 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.
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