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WGD: Game 54: Red Wings vs. Golden Knights

The Red Wings are back in action tonight after a prolonged break that saw them snag back-to-back victories against the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Ottawa Senators.

Tonight, they look to extend their three game winning streak against the Vegas Golden Knights, a team that, coming off an incredible inaugural season, has continued to remain near the top of the standings. At this point, it’s unlikely they’ll claim the top spot in the Pacific Division, but they are comfortably in the top-3 and will more than likely make another playoff run this April.

THE RED WINGS

LW C RW
Justin Abdelkader
JUSTIN ABDELKADER

Rating: 70.4#105 LW

Andreas Athanasiou
ANDREAS ATHANASIOU

Rating: 77.3#37 C

Gustav Nyquist
GUSTAV NYQUIST

Rating: 76.2#45 RW

Thomas Vanek
THOMAS VANEK

Rating: 74.0#40 LW

Frans Nielsen
FRANS NIELSEN

Rating: 73.1#89 C

Anthony Mantha
ANTHONY MANTHA

Rating: 75.4#41 RW

Darren Helm
DARREN HELM

Rating: 71.3#139 LW

Luke Glendening
LUKE GLENDENING

Rating: 71.1#140 C

Michael Rasmussen
MICHAEL RASMUSSEN

Rating: 72.2#76 RW

Christoffer Ehn
CHRISTOFFER EHN

Rating: 71.1#94 LW

Jacob De La Rose
JACOB DE LA ROSE

Rating: 68.5#184 C

Martin Frk
MARTIN FRK

Rating: 69.6#115 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Niklas Kronwall
NIKLAS KRONWALL

Rating: 72.3#70 LD

Mike Green
MIKE GREEN

Rating: 75.2#29 RD

Dan DeKeyser
DAN DEKEYSER

Rating: 73.1#55 LD

Nick Jensen
NICK JENSEN

Rating: 72.3#60 RD

Jonathan Ericsson
JONATHAN ERICSSON

Rating: 69.3#123 LD

Dennis Cholowski
DENNIS CHOLOWSKI

Rating: 72.3#6 RD

The Wings will once again be without Dylan Larkin and Tyler Bertuzzi, though that hasn’t hindered their success as of late. Andreas Athanasiou is filling in valiantly on the top line with Justin Abdelkader and Gustav Nyquist has stepped his game up a notch as rumors swirl around him nearing the trade deadline.

Michael Rasmussen is making his return from injury and he’ll slot in beside Darren Helm and Luke Glendening. I would expect him to take back his position on the power play as well.

Finally, Dennis Cholowski once again finds himself on the bottom pair and with dwindling minutes as he makes his way through a mid-season funk.

THE GOLDEN KNIGHTS

LW C RW
Jonathan Marchessault
JONATHAN MARCHESSAULT

Rating: 79.4#11 LW

William Karlsson
WILLIAM KARLSSON

Rating: 78.3#31 C

Valentin Zykov
VALENTIN ZYKOV

Rating: 72.9#66 RW

Max Pacioretty
MAX PACIORETTY

Rating: 78.0#17 LW

Paul Stastny
PAUL STASTNY

Rating: 77.7#36 C

Alex Tuch
ALEX TUCH

Rating: 77.1#23 RW

Oscar Lindberg
OSCAR LINDBERG

Rating: 71.4#134 LW

Cody Eakin
CODY EAKIN

Rating: 71.9#118 C

Reilly Smith
REILLY SMITH

Rating: 75.8#37 RW

Tomas Nosek
TOMAS NOSEK

Rating: 71.5#129 LW

Pierre-Édouard Bellemare
PIERRE-ÉDOUARD BELLEMARE

Rating: 70.3#160 C

Ryan Reaves
RYAN REAVES

Rating: 71.4#88 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Brayden McNabb
BRAYDEN MCNABB

Rating: 72.6#64 LD

Nate Schmidt
NATE SCHMIDT

Rating: 77.3#21 RD

Shea Theodore
SHEA THEODORE

Rating: 78.3#6 LD

Deryk Engelland
DERYK ENGELLAND

Rating: 72.4#55 RD

Jon Merrill
JON MERRILL

Rating: 71.5#86 LD

Colin Miller
COLIN MILLER

Rating: 77.1#22 RD

This Golden Knights squad has survived despite losing sniper winger James Neal. They’ve replaced him with Max Pacioretty, who’s had just an okay season so far with 16 goals and 29 points in 42 games.

Alex Tuch leads the offensive charge with 40 points and William Karlsson has put up a relatively uninspiring season with only 16 goals so far.

The Red Wings will see their former teammate, Tomas Nosek, on the third line.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Marc-Andre Fleury vs. Jimmy Howard

Fleury gets the nod for the Golden Knights tonight. He has a .911 save percentage on the season and a good 2.47 GAA.

Howard has been Detroit’s lifeline all season. He’ll be on display tonight for potential suitors in a trade as Detroit’s set a high price for the pending unrestricted free agent.

HOW TO WATCH

Puck drop is at 7:30 P.M. ET and you’ll be able to watch the game on Fox Sports Detroit.

As always, be sure to follow along with us on Twitter.