March 13, 2012; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg (40) and Los Angeles Kings right wing Dustin Brown (23) are separated by the offical during the third period at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: Red Wings Looking To Take The Kings’ Crown


The Detroit Red Wings take on the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings at 12:30 p.m. ET.

The Wings take on the Kings in the second game of their five game home stand and third game in four days. A lot of Wings’ player stepped up their game against the Oilers yesterday; Pavel Datsyuk, Drew Miller, Niklas Kronwall and Daniel Cleary had their best games of the season. Jimmy Howard stood strong in net and it looks like the rest did him a lot of good. Jonathan Ericsson was a beast on the ice, he was consistently in the right position and used his body very well. The Red Wings had their best game of the season and are looking to build on the victory against the Kings.

The Kings bring with them one of the best goaltenders in the NHL in Jonathan Quick. He has started off the season on the wrong foot with a .889 SV% and 2.67 GGA, both heavy drops from his last season statistics. One of the reasons behind his decline could be because of the injures on the Kings blue line; both Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene are out with injuries. The defense is not the only problem for the Kings though, their offense is having trouble point points on the board and they currently rank 25th in the league in goals per game. With Jeff Carter and Anze Kopitar on their team though that can change at any moment.

Projected Line-up

Forwards

Johan Franzen - Henrik Zetterberg - Damien Brunner

Daniel Cleary - Pavel Datsyuk - Valtteri Filppula

Joakim Andersson - Justin Abdelkader - Tomas Tatar

Drew Miller Cory Emmerton - Jordin Tootoo

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall – Brian Lashoff

Jonathan Ericsson - Ian White

Jakub Kindl – Kyle Quincey

Goaltender

Jimmy Howard

Jimmy Howard has a very solid game against the always dangerous Oilers and will be looking to continue his success against the Kings. The rest he received thank to Petr Mrazek seems to have done the trick.

For the first time this season the Red Wings special teams actually helped propel the team to a victory. It took putting Zetterberg and Datsyuk on the PK, but it worked. I am very happy to be proven wrong about the quality of their special teams.

Dec 17, 2011; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings forward Cory Emmerton celebrates after scoring a goal during the first period against the Los Angeles Kings at Joe Louis Arena. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Lashoff is making it harder for Ken Holland and Mike Babcock to send him back to Grand Rapids when the defense is healthy again. He has played very well on the PK and Babcock trusted him enough to put him out on the 5 on 3 penalty kill.

Daniel Cleary replaced Todd Bertuzzi very well on the second line. Datsyuk can make anyone look good, but I believe Cleary is back to his old self once again.

Damien Brunner is having some trouble getting the puck in the net recently. He had a lot of chances to score, but Nikolai Khabibulin shut the door on him. He is definitely do for a goal soon.

Jonathan Ericsson was a monster on the ice against the Oilers. Yes I know I already said this, but he was so good it deserved to be said twice.

Prediction: Heading into their 3rd game in 4 nights the Red Wings are going to be tired. Jimmy Howard will have to play spectacular in order to win the game. Kings leave the Joe with a 2-1 overtime victory.

Tags: Detroit Red Wings