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WGD: GAME 23: RED WINGS @ RANGERS

The Red Wings caught the Edmonton Oilers at a bad time. The Oilers were coming off of a disastrous performance in St. Louis and needed a big bounce-back game and it came at the Red Wings’ expense.

The opposite is the case tonight in New York as the Rangers are coming off of one of their best road performances off the season—beating the Hurricanes 6-1 in Carolina.

The Rangers come into Friday at 11-9-2 (24 points), sitting sixth in the Metropolitan Division—in comparison the Red Wings have 23 points (10-9-3) and sit third in the Atlantic Division. It’s safe to say the Metro is just a little bit better.

Let’s see how these two teams stack up against each other:

Record 10-9-3 (3rd in ATL) 11-9-2 (6th in MET)
Goals For 2.86 GF/PG (17th) 3.27 GF/PG (7th)
Goals Against 2.86 GA/PG (12th) 3.05 GA/PG (19th)
Power Play 23.2% (6th) 23.4% (5th)
Penalty Kill 84.9% (5th) 81.3% (13th)
CorsiFor% 49.26 CF% (19th) 478.06 CF% (24th)

THE RED WINGS

Detroit Red Wings lines via DailyFaceoff

The Red Wings are expected to go with the same lineup as Wednesday’s loss, meaning they will have 11 forwards and seven defensemen again. The good thing about going with 11 forwards is that players like Dylan Larkin will double shift with the Andreas Athanasiou line instead of AA spending the whole game with Scott Wilson and David Booth.

Anthony Mantha will look to have a strong evening after getting called out by Jeff Blashill for having a bad game against Edmonton. It would be great to see him respond with a massive game.

The Rangers have a slow blueline, making the Red Wings’ speedy forwards the keys to tonight’s game. Larkin and Athanasiou should be able to fine a lot of space out there tonight.

THE RANGERS

New York Rangers lines via DailyFaceoff

The Red Wings catch a break tonight with Ryan McDonagh not in the Rangers lineup. McDonagh will be missing his second straight game, meaning Steve Kampfer will remain on the blueline.

Former Red Wing defenseman Brendan Smith will be leaned on heavily with McDonagh out—he played a season-high 19:56 TOI in Wednesday’s win in Carolina. He was a healthy scratch earlier in the year but comes into tonight’s game with three assists in 14 games this season.

So far this season the Rangers have been led by Mika Zibanejadd who has 11 goals and 11 assists (22 points) in 22 games. Their offseason signing, Kevin Shattenkirk, quarterbacks their power-play and enters play leading all New York blueliners with 17 points (5G / 12A)—tied with Mats Zucarrello (3G / 14A) for second on the team.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

The goaltending matchup is expected to be Jimmy Howard vs. Henrik Lundqvist.

Howard is coming off of one of his worst performances of the season—he was pulled after giving up four goals on 19 shots. Despite the rough outing, they’ll go right back to Howard, who has enjoyed a lot of success vs. the Rangers in his career. In his last five starts at Madison Square Garden, Howie is just 1-3-1 despite posting a 1.82 GAA and .923 SV%—Detroit has averaged just 1.20 goals for per game in front of him in those contests. He’ll hopefully receive a little more goal support tonight.

As for Lundqvist, he is coming off of a 32-save performance in Carolina and has gone 7-2-0 with a 2.17 GAA and .932 SV% in nine starts the month. Of his 19 starts this season, 12 of them have come at MSG, where he is 7-3-2 with a 2.50 GAA and .912 SV%.

HOW TO WATCH

Puck-drop between the Red Wings and Sabres is at 7:00p.m. at Madison Square Garden in New York City. You can catch the game on Fox Sports Detroit.

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