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WGD: GAME 39: RED WINGS VS. SENATORS

This one oughta be good. The Red Wings are coming off of a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday while the Ottawa Senators come in into the New Year after losing 5-0 to the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

The Red Wings have been playing better hockey as of late and the results are starting to come in and tonight they will look extend their winning streak to three. Dating back to the middle of November, the Red Wings are 7-8-5 in 20 games. If you think that is bad, the Senators are a league-worst 4-14-3 over that span. The Senators have done so with the feast goals for over that stretch and a minus-35 goal differential, while Detroit is at minus-14.

Ottawa is currently 29th in the NHL (12-17-8) and Detroit is 25th (15-16-7) and the #FallinForDahlin sweepstakes fall further out of sight with every win.

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The Red Wings have fallen out of the playoff race because the Boston Bruins have caught fire, winning 10 of their last 13 games (10-1-2).

THE RED WINGS

Detroit Red Wings lines via DailyFaceoff

Tuesday was a pretty good day for the Red Wings. First it was announced that Tyler Bertuzzi was told to find a place in Detroit because he’s landed a permanent role on the roster. In four games since his call-up, ‘Lil Bert’ has picked up three assists and eight shots and will continue to skate on the top-line tonight.

Secondly, Anthony Mantha announced that he will be back in the lineup tonight. Mantha will start on the fourth line (according to line rushes at the morning skate), which means Andreas Athanasiou will stay on the Dylan Larkin line for the time being. Mantha had a great start to the season, picking up 19 points (10G / 9A) in his first 19 games but has struggled in his last 17 contests, collecting just five points (3G / 2A).

After a 22-game goalless stretch, where Henrik Zetterberg had just eight assists, Hank has two goals and nine assists (11 points) in his last nine games.

THE SENATORS

Ottawa Senators lines via DailyFaceoff

The Senators have a lot of weapons on their roster but it hasn’t worked out the way they were hoping. Since acquiring Matt Duchene in a huge three-way trade on November 5th, Ottawa ranks last in the NHL with a 6-14-3 record since. They were tied for eighth in the NHL with a 6-3-5 record before the deal.

In 23 games since joining the Senators, Duchene has picked up just three goals and three assists (six points) in 23 games. Mark Stone has done his best to carry the Senators, picking up 18 points (6G / 12A) during that span, but it hasn’t been enough.

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Erik Karlsson missed the start of the season with a foot issue and has had one of the worst seasons of his career. Karlsson is still on-pace for 60 points, but that’s a down-year for a player of his calibre. It has also been the worst defensive season of his career.

Rookie Thomas Chabot is going to be a stud in this league one day, but he still has some things to work on. Regardless of what he needs to fix in his own-end, he is a high-end offensive talent and was recently moved to the top power-play unit alongside Karlsson.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Jimmy Howard is expected to get the nod for the Red Wings and Craig Anderson is the Senators confirmed starter.

Howard had an excellent performance on Sunday, turning aside 37 of 38 shots in the win over the Penguins. Howie has won two straight but he has been excellent since the Philadelphia game, stopping 126 of the last 133 shots (.947 SV%) that he has faced in those four starts. Howard is 1-1-0 with a 1.47 GAA and .955 SV% in two starts against the Senators this season.

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Anderson sat for the Senators last two games because of an illness, but will return to the crease tonight. Anderson allowed five goals on 23 shots in a loss in Boston in his last outing and has lost three in a row while posting a 4.60 GAA and .861 SV%. After an extremely impressive 2016-17 campaign, Anderson has struggled mightily this season. However, he has played very well against the Red Wings, going 1-0-1 with a 0.96 GAA and .964 SV% in the first two meetings.

HOW TO WATCH

Puck-drop between the Red Wings and Senators is at 7:30 p.m. ET at Little Caesars Arena. It can be seen in the United States on Fox Sports Detroit-PLUS or in Canada on SportsNet.

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