Jan 19, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (52) defends against St. Louis Blues center David Backes (42) during the third period at the Scottrade Center. The Blues defeated the Red Wings 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Detroit Red Wings vs. St. Louis Blues

Tonight the Detroit Red Wings faceoff against the St. Louis Blues for the second of five meetings this season at 7:30.

The Red Wings are looking for revenge against the Blues after the drumming they received during the season opener. Detroit looked uninterested and slow during their first meeting of the season.  The Wings are not the same team though; they have lost players due to injury, brought in a free agent, but most importantly they are hustling.

St. Louis’ game plan will be to out muscle and outwork the Red Wings. The Blues have a significant height and weight advantage on the Wings, but it isn’t at the cost of skill. Blues’ rookie Vladimir Tarasenko leads the team in points and in the season opener tallied two against the Wings. The defence will have to keep a close eye on him and keep his chances on Jimmy Howard at a minimum.

Projected Line-up

Forwards

Johan Franzen – Henrik Zetterberg – Damien Brunner

Todd Bertuzzi – Pavel Datsyuk – Valtteri Filppula

Daniel Cleary – Justin Abdelkader – Patrick Eaves

Drew Miller Cory Emmerton – Jordin Tootoo

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson

Brendan Smith – Kyle Quincey

Kent Huskins – Jakub Kindl

Goaltender

Jimmy Howard

The Blues proved to the NHL that last year was not a fluke and that they are a force to be reckoned with in the Central.

Detroit will rely on Jordin Tootoo to provide energy for the team by using his body and fists. Every game the Red Wings have had a fighting major in they have won.

Jan 19, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Blues center Vladimir Sobotka (17) gets checked to the ice by Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brendan Smith (2) during the third period at the Scottrade Center. The Blues defeated the Red Wings 6-0. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

The addition on Kent Huskins and Jonathan Ericsson‘s return from injury have brought a renewed focus on defence, even strength and on the penalty kill.

This game will come down to special teams for the Red Wings. While their penalty kill has been much better over the past few games (only 2 goals allowed on 18 penalty kills), the power play continues to flounder. The Wings will have to find a way to get the power play going against the Blues because at even strength it will be hard to find good scoring lanes.

Prediction: The Red Wings will continue their inconsistent season and the St. Louis Blues extend their four game winning streak with a 3-1 victory.

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