Two days after being shut out 3-0 by the Calgary Flames, the Detroit Red Wings will have an excellent chance to rebound Saturday when they take on the winless Montreal Canadiens at the famed Bell Centre.
All five of Montreal’s losses have come in regulation time. The Wings are currently 2-1-1, having started the season on a three-game point streak.
It’s been quite a while since these two teams faced off. Detroit and Montreal last played against each other on Feb. 18, 2020 at Little Caesars Arena, with the Wings emerging victorious by a 4-3 score. Andreas Athanasiou scored twice for Detroit in that game, with Robby Fabbri and Mike Green also notching goals for the home side.
Through five games, Montreal has scored just five goals and has allowed 19. The 2021 Stanley Cup runners-up are in serious trouble, to put things mildly.
This will be the first game missed by Tyler Bertuzzi in 2021–22. The 26-year-old forward is unvaccinated and, as a result, ineligible to play any games in Canada.
Puck-drop for this one will go at 7:00 p.m. ET on Bally Sports Detroit.
The Red Wings
Detroit coach Jeff Blashill went with these lines against Calgary:
Tyler Bertuzzi – Dylan Larkin – Lucas Raymond
Robby Fabbri – Pius Suter – Filip Zadina
Vladislav Namestnikov – Michael Rasmussen – Adam Erne
Givani Smith – Mitchell Stephens – Sam Gagner
Danny DeKeyser – Filip Hronek
Nick Leddy – Moritz Seider
Marc Staal – Gustav Lindstrom
Alex Nedeljkovic played a solid game against Calgary, allowing just two goals on 28 shots, but the Wings will probably return to the red-hot Thomas Greiss in net against the Canadiens. Greiss is 2-0-0 with a .969 save percentage to start the season.
Tyler Bertuzzi will be ineligible to play against Montreal on Saturday, owing to his unvaccinated status. Expect Fabbri, Namestnikov, and Gagner to each shift up a line in his absence; Carter Rowney should draw into the lineup.
Who knows what Montreal will go with on Saturday, given their recent struggles. All bets are off. Here are Daily Faceoff’s most recent Canadiens line combinations:
Mike Hoffman – Nick Suzuki – Brendan Gallagher
Jonathan Drouin – Christian Dvorak – Josh Anderson
Tyler Toffoli – Mathieu Perreault – Cole Caufield
Artturi Lehkonen – Jake Evans – Joel Armia
Ben Chiarot – Jeff Petry
Sami Niku – Brett Kulak
Alexander Romanov – David Savard
Jake Allen will get the start for Montreal against Detroit, according to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports. He’s 0-4-0 with an .891 save percentage to start the season.
Detroit: Tyler Bertuzzi (five goals, six points); Vladislav Namestnikov (two goals, three points); Dylan Larkin (one goal, three points); Lucas Raymond (one goal, three points); Adam Erne (one goal, three points); Robby Fabbri (one goal, three points).
Montreal: Jonathan Drouin (two goals, three points); Brett Kulak (zero goals, two points); Chris Wideman (one goal, one point); Tyler Toffoli (one goal, one point).
Players to watch
Detroit: Where is Filip Hronek? The 23-year-old defenseman is off to an underwhelming start, combining shaky play in his own end with little offense. Despite occupying a regular spot on the Wings’ power play, Hronek has just a single assist through four games. He’s in danger of losing his spot on the man-advantage to Moritz Seider or Nick Leddy if he doesn’t start scoring.
Montreal: A lot of Canadiens players are off to slow starts. While many of them are young and inexperienced, Brendan Gallagher is neither of those things — and yet he, too, is stuck with a goose-egg through five games. “Gally” is too good a player to be held off the scoresheet for much longer.
Viewing and listening options
Thursday’s Wings/Canadiens game will be broadcast on Bally Sports Detroit. Montreal viewers will be able to watch on CityTV and TVA Sports.
It’ll be sent over the airwaves on WXVT-FM 97.1 “The Ticket” in the Detroit area, as well as on the Red Wings’ official website.