March 4, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith (2) and Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) fight in the second period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Detroit Red Wings At Chicago Blackhawks

The Detroit Red Wings take on the Chicago Blackhawks tonight at 7:00pm.

This will be the first of four games this season. Last year the Blackhawks won the series 4-2, with the Red Wings not winning a game in regulation. Chicago comes into tonight’s game undefeated and Detroit will be given the opportunity to have their revenge from last season, while ending Chicago streak.

It will not be an easy task for the Wings though, Chicago’s defence has been interpretable this season and make up for their less than stellar goaltending. Corey Crawford has made big saves to keep the Hawks in games, but he gives up bad rebounds and puts himself out of position. Detroit will have to take advantage of their opportunities and put the puck behind Crawford early into the game.

Projected Line-up

Forwards

Johan Franzen – Henrik Zetterberg – Damien Brunner

Todd Bertuzzi – Pavel Datsyuk – Valtteri Filppula

Dan Cleary – Darren Helm – Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller Cory Emmerton – Jordin Tootoo

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson

Brendan Smith – Kyle Quincey

Kent Huskins – Brian Lashoff

Goaltender

Jimmy Howard

Injures continue to hamper the Red Wings defence, but the offence is much healthier. The additions of Darren Helm and Todd Bertuzzi on offence invigorated the Wings and Bertuzzi’s second goal iced the the game for the Wings. Spliting up the Euro-twins helped the offence as well, creating a match up problem for the Wild. Having Datsyuk and Zetterberg play on different line gives the Red Wings two quality lines, makes the Red Wings harder to match up against with the defence because one of them will be playing against a weaker defensive pairing.

The Red Wings special teams seems to be back on track. After going 0-15 in their last three game the Red Wings scored on 2 of their 5 chances against the Wild. This does not mean the Red Wings special teams is fixed, but it is a step in the right direction and should give them confidence moving foward.

April 7, 2012; Detroit, MI, USA; Jimmy Howard during the second period at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The defence, also, stepped up for the Wings on Friday. They limited the Wild to 26 shots on net, the lowest this season, while looking positionally sound. Kindl still leaves a lot to be desired, but Brian Lashoff and Kent Huskins looked great. Huskins and Lashoff will not produce many points for the Red Wings, but they block shots and keep good defensive positioning. Jonathan Ericsson expects to play tonight which will help the defence immensely, as he is the Red Wings best penalty killer.

If the Red Wings play like they did against the Wild they should win this game, but if they fall back into bad habits Chicago’s big guns in Patrick Kane and Marian Hossa will beat up on Howard.

Prediction: Goals will be hard to come by in this game as the Hawks defence is solid and the Wings defence is trending upwards. The Red Wings build off of their win against the Wild and play good defensive hockey against a very good Hawks team. In the end the Wings will get a chance off of a bad rebound given up by Crawford and Jimmy closes the door on Chicago. 1-0 victory.

Check out our Q&A with Blackhawk Up HERE and visit the enemies preview HERE.

Update:

Next Red Wings Game Full schedule »
Thursday, Oct 2323 Oct7:30Pittsburgh PenguinsBuy Tickets

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