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WGD: GAME 5: FIRST EVER IN VEGAS

The Red Wings had a rough first period in Arizona last night, but were able to settle in in the second period and went on to beat the Coyotes 4-2—moving to 3-1-0 on the young season.

Tonight the Red Wings will wrap-up their four-game road-trip with their first ever trip to T-Mobile Arena to take on the surprisingly undefeated Vegas Golden Knights.

It’s still super early, but let’s take a look at how these two teams rank statistically so far.

Record 3-1-0 (3rd in ATL) 3-0-0 (1st in PAC)
Goals For 2.75 GF/PG (17th) 3.00 GF/PG (t-14th)
Goals Against 2.25 GA/PG (t-5th) 1.33 GA/PG (1st)
Power Play 23.5% (t-10th) 7.1% (26th)
Penalty Kill 90.0% (t-6th) 90.0% (t-6th)
CorsiFor% 49.72 CF% (12th) 47.62 CF% (20th)

THE RED WINGS

Detroit Red Wings lines via DailyFaceoff

LEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WING
Tomas Tatar
TOMAS TATAR
Henrik Zetterberg
HENRIK ZETTERBERG
Gustav Nyquist
GUSTAV NYQUIST
Anthony Mantha
ANTHONY MANTHA
Dylan Larkin
DYLAN LARKIN
Justin Abdelkader
JUSTIN ABDELKADER
Martin Frk
MARTIN FRK
Frans Nielsen
FRANS NIELSEN
Darren Helm
DARREN HELM
Luke Glendening
LUKE GLENDENING
Riley Sheahan
RILEY SHEAHAN
David Booth
DAVID BOOTH
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Niklas Kronwall
NIKLAS KRONWALL
Mike Green
MIKE GREEN
Jonathan Ericsson
JONATHAN ERICSSON
Trevor Daley
TREVOR DALEY
Xavier Ouellet
XAVIER OUELLET
Nick Jensen
NICK JENSEN

Yesterday, Jeff Blashill elected to split up the Anthony ManthaDylan LarkinMartin Frk line and put Frk with Frans Nielsen and Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader on the second line. It’s puzzling why you would want to break-up your best line, but Blashill must want a shooter with Nielsen so they will have three lines capable of scoring. Still, breaking up your best line seems counter productive, but don’t expect to see the F.M.L together to start tonight’s contest.

On the blueline, Niklas Kronwall made his season debut last night and given his track record with back-to-back, Luke Witkowski could draw in on the blueline for him tonight. Kronwall said that he will take warmups and see how he feels, so consider him a game-time decision. The veteran played 17:27 TOI but didn’t record any boxscore stats. Kronwall had an ugly 39.29 CorsiFor% though, so hopefully as he works his way back into game shape, he improves.

THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS

Vegas Golden Knights lines via DailyFaceoff

LEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WING
David Perron
DAVID PERRON
Cody Eakin
CODY EAKIN
James Neal
JAMES NEAL
Reilly Smith
REILLY SMITH
Oscar Lindberg
OSCAR LINDBERG
Jonathan Marchessault
JONATHAN MARCHESSAULT
Brendan Leipsic
BRENDAN LEIPSIC
William Karlsson
WILLIAM KARLSSON
Erik Haula
ERIK HAULA
Tomas Nosek
TOMAS NOSEK
Pierre-Édouard Bellemare
PIERRE-ÉDOUARD BELLEMARE
Will Carrier
WILL CARRIER
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Nate Schmidt
NATE SCHMIDT
Luca Sbisa
LUCA SBISA
Colin Miller
COLIN MILLER
Jason Garrison
JASON GARRISON
Deryk Engelland
DERYK ENGELLAND
Brayden McNabb
BRAYDEN MCNABB

During their early success as a new franchise, the Golden Knights have been led by James Neal. This should come as no surprise, because Neal was expected to be leaned on heavily and he has looked great through the first three games. The power-forward has tallied five goals so far and former Washington Capitals’ defenseman Nate Schmidt is second on the team in points with three (1G / 2A).

On paper, this team doesn’t look great but they’ve been working hard and have a few guys capable of putting up some numbers this season. Neal along with his linemates Cody Eakin and David Perron have been one of the more dominant possession lines in the league, carrying a 60.78 CF%—16.51 relative Corsi.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Petr Mrazek vs. Marc-Andre Fleury.

With Jimmy Howard starting last night, Blashill will go back to Mrazek tonight. Mrazek allowed three goals on 32 shots, including one horrendous goal, in Detroit’s loss in Dallas on Tuesday. Given how good Howard has been so far, it still doesn’t make sense why Mrazek started two-of-three games this week, but here we are.

Fleury, an early and obvious fan favourite in Vegas has been simply sensational through his first three starts. Fleury has gone 3-0-0 while stopping 103 of 107 shots (.963 SV%) so far. The way he is playing right now, it might be tough for the Red Wings to score many goals tonight.

HOW TO WATCH

Puck-drop is at 10:30pm ET and you can catch the game on Fox Sports Detroit. If you can’t watch the contest, be sure to catch 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.