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WGD: GAME 2: ON THE ROAD AGAIN

After baptizing Little Caesars Arena with a 4-3 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday evening, the Wings boarded the team plane and made their way to Canada’s capital for game two of the season.

The Senators, hot off a deep playoff run that saw them lose in the Conference Finals to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions, are eager to prove themselves this season. They suffered a shootout loss in their season opener against the Washington Capitals and are looking to bounce back in front of their home crowd tonight.

THE RED WINGS

Detroit Red Wings lines via DailyFaceoff

The Red Wings are going to keep on keepin’ on after yesterday’s news that Andreas Athanasiou was on his way to Switzerland to begin skating with Lugano. And that’s okay as the FML line had a combined six points in Thursday’s season opener. They’ll play together again tonight.

Detroit’s first line will also stay intact tonight after Henrik Zetterberg scored his first of the season with an assist from Tomas Tatar on Thursday. The top-6 is off to a good start and apparently Jeff Blashill sees no reason to disrupt that. As for the bottom-6, Luke Witkowski will draw into his first game of the season after a questionable pre-season. His addition to the roster is rather confusing as his skillset doesn’t bring much to the table from an offensive point of view. He’ll line up with Riley Sheahan and Luke Glendening.

Mike Green is coming off of a big 3-point night against the Wild. He’ll line up with Jonathan Ericsson on the 2nd defense pairing. The top pairing of Danny DeKeyser and Trevor Daley will remain together while the bottom pairing of Xavier Ouellet and Nick Jensen could prove to be deadly with Jensen’s speed and XO’s defensive awareness. Niklas Kronwall will sit out his 2nd straight game with a groin pull, leaving many wondering just how many games he’ll actually play this year.

THE SENATORS

Ottawa Senators lines via DailyFaceoff

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Dion Phaneuf
DION PHANEUF
Cody Ceci
CODY CECI
Mark Borowiecki
MARK BOROWIECKI
Chris Wideman
CHRIS WIDEMAN
Ben Harpur
BEN HARPUR
Fredrik Claesson
FREDRIK CLAESSON

The most obvious omission here is Erik Karlsson. He skated this morning, but was the first off the ice. He’s still having issues with that pesky foot, so won’t be playing tonight. That is a very good thing for the Red Wings. Johnny Oduya is also out tonight with a lower-body injury. Ben Harpur was called up this morning to fill that gap on the back-end.

As for the forward group, Mark Stone got off to a great start to his season with a two goal showing against the Capitals. Derick Brassard added a goal and Bobby Ryan had two assists. So needless to say, that line will be staying together. Kyle Turris will centre Zack Smith and Ryan Dzingel as they try to shutdown Detroit’s top-line.

Jean-Gabriel Pageau will be centering Tom Pyatt and Mike Hoffman and Alex Formenton will make his NHL debut tonight on Ottawa’s fourth line. The 18-year-old had 34 points in 65 games for the London Knights of the OHL last year. We’ll see if he can make an impact against a team of mostly veterans.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Jimmy Howard is once again expected to start tonight after turning away 37 Wild shots on Thursday night. After re-establishing himself as the undisputed starter last year, the veteran goalie once again seems to be on top of his game. Meanwhile, young Petr Mrazek will once again fulfill back-up duties after a busy offseason. He’s eager to prove himself again. He’ll get his chance, just not tonight.

After signing a contract extension this offseason, Craig Anderson will get his second straight start for the Senators. He didn’t have the best start to his season, posting a .857 save percentage in Thursday’s game against the Capitals. He’ll be looking for a bounce back game tonight against a hungry Red Wings forwards core who managed to record 31 shots on net in their first game.

It will be a busy night for both goaltenders.

HOW TO WATCH

Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. ET at the Canadian Tire Centre in Kanata. You can watch the game on SN-1 in Canada or FS-D for Kenny and Mickey’s first regular season broadcast of the year. If you can’t watch the game 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.

  • zshears

    ‘After baptizing Little Caesars Arena with a 2-1 win over the Minnesota Wild on Thursday evening, the Wings boarded the team plane…” They won 4-2, not 2-1. Unless dividing the score is a thing now.