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WGD: GAME 7: RED WINGS @ MAPLE LEAFS

The Red Wings had a slow-start against Tampa Bay, but settled in nicely and had a shot to win but ended up losing 3-2—thanks to a terrible turnover from everyone’s favourite defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.

The Red Wings now sit at 4-2-0 but their tough week continues tonight in Toronto before returning home to host the Washington Capitals on Friday. The Red Wings catch a break tonight because the Maple Leafs played in Washington last night, meaning Frederik Andersen will get the night off and Curtis McElhinney will be between the pipes.

Before we look at tonight’s lineups, lets take a peek at how these two teams match-up right now:

Record 4-2-0 (3rd in ATL) 5-1-0 (1st in ATL)
Goals For 3.17 GF/PG (t-12th) 4.67 GF/PG (1st)
Goals Against 2.50 GA/PG (t-7th) 3.17 GA/PG (19th)
Power Play 16.7% (t-19th) 28.6% (t-2nd)
Penalty Kill 89.3% (5th) 81.5% (12th)
CorsiFor% 51.09 CF% (13th) 56.01 CF% (5th)

THE RED WINGS

Detroit Red Wings lines via DailyFaceoff

LEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WING
Anthony Mantha
ANTHONY MANTHA
Henrik Zetterberg
HENRIK ZETTERBERG
Gustav Nyquist
GUSTAV NYQUIST
Tomas Tatar
TOMAS TATAR
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
Luke Witkowski
LUKE WITKOWSKI
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

The Red Wings had an optional morning skate, so there was no indication whether or not they will make any lineup changes tonight. Gustav Nyquist briefly left Monday’s game, but was able to return before the end of the contest.

Anthony Mantha is expected to remain on the top-line with Nyquist and Henrik Zetterberg. Mantha played under 15 minutes in three of the first four games, but has seen 19:53 and 20:35 TOI in his last two contests. Mantha continues to carry an impressive 58.4 CF% and a 12.1 relative Corsi—and yes, I will continue to tout Mantha’s possession numbers as long as he has a ridiculous relative Corsi. This line has only been together for a short period of time, but together they have a 75.86 CF% and have scored two goals while not giving up any.

Danny DeKeyser skated a little bit this morning, but is expected to miss 1-to-2 weeks. With DeKeyser out, Ericsson, Xavier Ouellet and Niklas Kronwall remain in the lineup.

THE MAPLE LEAFS

Detroit Red Wings lines via DailyFaceoff

LEFT WING CENTER RIGHT WING
Zach Hyman
ZACH HYMAN
Auston Matthews
AUSTON MATTHEWS
William Nylander
WILLIAM NYLANDER
Patrick Marleau
PATRICK MARLEAU
Nazem Kadri
NAZEM KADRI
Leo Komarov
LEO KOMAROV
James van Riemsdyk
JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK
Tyler Bozak
TYLER BOZAK
Connor Brown
CONNOR BROWN
Matt Martin
MATT MARTIN
Eric Fehr
ERIC FEHR
Mitch Marner
MITCH MARNER
DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Morgan Rielly
MORGAN RIELLY
Ron Hainsey
RON HAINSEY
Jake Gardiner
JAKE GARDINER
Nikita Zaitsev
NIKITA ZAITSEV
Andreas Borgman
ANDREAS BORGMAN
Connor Carrick
CONNOR CARRICK

The Maple Leafs lead the NHL in goals and are one of the most exciting teams in the league. They absolutely fly around the ice, but are susceptible to giving up a lot scoring chances against. The top-line of Zach HymanAuston MatthewsWilliam Nylander has been one of the most dominant lines in the NHL to start the season. Of the lines who have played at least 50 minutes together at 5v5, that trio ranks sixth in the league with a 57.38 CF% and have yet to give up a goal in 57:04 TOI.

Tyler Bozak and James van Riemsdyk remain paired together, but prior to yesterday’s game they got a new right winger. Mitch Marner, who has struggled defensively to start the season, was moved to the fourth line and Connor Brown took his spot with Bozak and JVR. This line will likely matchup against the Martin FrkFrans NielsenDarren Helm line and they have been smashed at even-strength this season—allowing 38 shots and 29 scoring chances against while generating just 27 shots for. If those two lines are enough to worry about, Patrick Marleau, who will appear in his 1,500th game tonight, is on a line with Nazem Kadri and Leo Komarov and they will be tasked with trying to slow down the Zetterberg line, but bring a lot of offence of their own. This is a deep team, but their blueline still has some holes and the Red Wings should be able to score some goals—but they need to do so while limiting the powerful Leafs offence.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Jimmy Howard will start for the second straight game and for the third time in four games. Howard’s three-game winning streak was snapped on Monday, but he comes into Wednesday with a 1.97 GAA and .942 SV%. Howie struggled in his only start against the Maple Leafs last season, giving up five goals on 27 shots in a 5-4 loss in April.

McElhinney is a 34-year-old career backup. He was with the Blue Jackets from 2014 until being claimed off of waivers by the Maple Leafs in January of last season. After his move to Toronto, McElhinney went 6-7-0 with a 2.85 GAA, .914 SV% and one shutout. It doesn’t matter a lot, but he has just one career win in five games vs. the Red Wings.

HOW TO WATCH

The Red Wings will be all over television in North America on Wednesday. In the United States you can find the game with Ken and Mickey on FoxSportsDetroit-PLUS and in Canada on SporsNet360 and SportsNet1.

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.