0

WGD: Game 71: Red Wings vs. Lightning

Well, here we go again! It was only five days ago these two teams met last and since then, the standings implications are exactly the same: Tampa Bay is still first in the league and has a clinched playoff spot and Detroit is second-last in the league. This time, though, they are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

With that being the case, the Red Wings are getting ready to introduce a few fresh faces to the lineup in the dying weeks of the season. Ryan Kuffner and Taro Hirose were two of the top undrafted free agents to hit the market when the NCAA season concluded and Ken Holland managed to get both of them signed to entry-level contracts. Both players will join the team in the coming days, but likely won’t see any game time until next week.

The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Tampa Bay’s last 6 games – Courtesy of OddsShark

So for today’s match-up, here’s what the roster’s looking like.

THE RED WINGS

LW C RW
Tyler Bertuzzi
TYLER BERTUZZI

Rating: 73.4#57 LW

Andreas Athanasiou
ANDREAS ATHANASIOU

Rating: 76.2#39 C

Anthony Mantha
ANTHONY MANTHA

Rating: 75.0#37 RW

Thomas Vanek
THOMAS VANEK

Rating: 72.4#82 LW

Frans Nielsen
FRANS NIELSEN

Rating: 72.0#103 C

Filip Zadina
FILIP ZADINA
Justin Abdelkader
JUSTIN ABDELKADER

Rating: 69.5#135 LW

Luke Glendening
LUKE GLENDENING

Rating: 69.9#163 C

Darren Helm
DARREN HELM

Rating: 70.9#145 RW

Michael Rasmussen
MICHAEL RASMUSSEN

Rating: 70.4#155 LW

Jacob De La Rose
JACOB DE LA ROSE

Rating: 68.3#184 C

Christoffer Ehn
CHRISTOFFER EHN

Rating: 70.1#105 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Dan DeKeyser
DAN DEKEYSER

Rating: 71.6#87 LD

Filip Hronek
FILIP HRONEK

Rating: 72.5#57 RD

Jonathan Ericsson
JONATHAN ERICSSON

Rating: 68.2#131 LD

Trevor Daley
TREVOR DALEY

Rating: 68.7#128 RD

Niklas Kronwall
NIKLAS KRONWALL

Rating: 71.9#80 LD

Madison Bowey
MADISON BOWEY

Rating: 68.8#97 RD

Tonight will be Filip Zadina’s last game with the Red Wings this season before returning to Grand Rapids for an AHL playoff run. Zadina has a goal and an assist, both on the power play, and has looked increasingly better in every game. It’s too bad he won’t get the chance to play with the Wings other best players, but he’ll likely be one of them next year.

Still no Larkin, but he’s expected back on Saturday and Jonathan Ericsson is listed as active right now as well. If Ericsson is injured, I would anticipate Luke Witkowski slotting in on D, as he did in Montreal.

I’m really hoping to see Zadina net one more tonight. It would be a great way to end his NHL stint this year and leave the door wide open for next season.

THE LIGHTNING

LW C RW
Ondrej Palat
ONDREJ PALAT

Rating: 73.9#47 LW

Steven Stamkos
STEVEN STAMKOS

Rating: 82.4#11 C

J.T. Miller
J.T. MILLER

Rating: 73.3#74 RW

Tyler Johnson
TYLER JOHNSON

Rating: 73.4#55 LW

Brayden Point
BRAYDEN POINT

Rating: 82.5#10 C

Nikita Kucherov
NIKITA KUCHEROV

Rating: 91.1#1 RW

Alex Killorn
ALEX KILLORN

Rating: 73.8#67 LW

Anthony Cirelli
ANTHONY CIRELLI

Rating: 75.0#52 C

Mathieu Joseph
MATHIEU JOSEPH

Rating: 72.6#67 RW

Adam Erne
ADAM ERNE

Rating: 71.5#101 LW

Cedric Paquette
CEDRIC PAQUETTE

Rating: 70.1#161 C

Yanni Gourde
YANNI GOURDE

Rating: 74.6#36 RW

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Victor Hedman
VICTOR HEDMAN

Rating: 80.8#3 LD

Anton Stralman
ANTON STRALMAN

Rating: 75.1#27 RD

Ryan McDonagh
RYAN MCDONAGH

Rating: 77.9#9 LD

Erik Cernak
ERIK CERNAK

Rating: 74.4#34 RD

Braydon Coburn
BRAYDON COBURN

Rating: 72.5#70 LD

Mikhail Sergachev
MIKHAIL SERGACHEV

Rating: 74.5#33 RD

Tampa’s lineup is still elite, but Detroit has given them a run for their money all year. Kucherov is the big one they’ll need to watch out for – he scored twice on them last week. Steven Stamkos and Brayden Point are also incredibly dangerous. The Wings will, as they do, be chasing this team around the ice, but if they play the body and don’t back down at any point, they could make it interesting.

BETWEEN THE PIPES

Jimmy Howard vs. Andrei Vasilevskiy

Howie gets the nod for Detroit tonight, despite Bernier’s strong play as of late. And the Lightining are pulling not giving any breaks. They want to continue to win. So Vasilevskiy will get the start, making Detroit’s objective of scoring goals an even more difficult one.

HOW TO WATCH

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