After a three-day layoff, the Detroit Red Wings will return to action on Friday when they play host to the Dallas Stars at Little Caesars Arena.
The Red Wings (18–17–5) and Stars (19–16–2) currently sit relatively close together in the National Hockey League’s overall standings. Take this into consideration, however, and things start to look very different:
  • Detroit at home: 13–6–2
  • Dallas on the road: 5–12–1
Detroit and Dallas most recently met at American Airlines Center on Nov. 16, 2021, with the Stars winning 5–2. @Filip Zadina and @Dylan Larkin scored for Detroit; @Jason Robertson tallied twice for Dallas, which also received goals from @Jamie Benn, @Roope Hintz, and @Ryan Suter.
Friday’s game could be the Red Wings debut of 27-year-old forward @Gemel Smith, who Detroit claimed off waivers from Tampa Bay on Wednesday. Smith played 77 games with Dallas between 2016 and 2018 before bouncing between the NHL and AHL with the Bruins and Lightning organizations for parts of three seasons.
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Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill confirmed after Thursday’s practice that Smith will be “available” for him to use against the Stars on Friday. It’s unclear at this time whether he’ll actually play.

The Red Wings

We’ll go ahead and guess that both Smiths will play for Detroit against the Stars:
@Vladislav Namestnikov – @Dylan Larkin – @Lucas Raymond
@Robby Fabbri – @Pius Suter – @Tyler Bertuzzi
@Filip Zadina – @Michael Rasmussen – @Adam Erne
@Givani Smith – @Gemel Smith – @Sam Gagner
Danny DeKeyser – @Moritz Seider
@Marc Staal – @Filip Hronek
@Nick Leddy – @Gustav Lindstrom
Projected starter: @Alex Nedeljkovic (12–10–4, .918 SV%).

The Stars

Dallas went with these combinations in its 5–4 win over Buffalo on Thursday:
@Jason Robertson – @Roope Hintz – @Joe Pavelski
@Jamie Benn – @Tyler Seguin – @Denis Gurianov
@Michael Raffl – @Radek Faksa – @Luke Glendening
@Jacob Peterson – @Riley Damiani – @Joel Kiviranta
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@Ryan Suter – @Miro Heiskanen
@Esa Lindell – @John Klingberg
@Joel Hanley – @Jani Hakanpaa
Projected starter: @Jake Oettinger (9–4–0, .905 SV%)

Scoring leaders

Detroit: @Dylan Larkin (18 goals, 36 points); @Tyler Bertuzzi (18 goals, 32 points); @Lucas Raymond (11 goals, 32 points); @Moritz Seider (three goals, 25 points); @Filip Hronek (four goals, 20 points).
Dallas: @Joe Pavelski (16 goals, 40 points); @Jason Robertson (15 goals, 35 points); @Roope Hintz (16 goals, 30 points); @Miro Heiskanen (four goals, 22 points); @John Klingberg (one goal, 21 points).

Players to watch

Detroit: All eyes will be on @Givani Smith tonight, even if his brother isn’t out there with him. The 23-year-old winger is now on the same team as Gemel, his 27-year-old brother, for the first time in his life. It remains to be seen if Gemel’s arrival will serve as a boost for Smith the younger, who has two goals and four points in 31 games with the Red Wings this season.
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Dallas: @Jamie Benn won the Art Ross Trophy in 2015 as the NHL’s leading scorer. Here we are in 2022 and he isn’t even listed above as one of the top producers on his own team. The 32-year-old winger currently sits in seventh place on the Stars with 17 points (nine goals, eight assists) in 37 games. That’s a pretty underwhelming pace for a player who has three seasons left on his contract after this one at $9.5 million per year.

Viewing and listening options

Friday’s game in Detroit will be broadcast on Bally Sports Detroit starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. It’ll be sent over the airwaves on WXYT-FM 97.1 “The Ticket” in the Detroit area, as well as on the Red Wings’ official website.

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