Mar 28, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk (13) skates with the puck against San Jose Sharks center Tommy Wingels (57) during the second period at HP Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Preview: The First of Nine Must Win Games For The Red Wings


The Detroit Red Wings take on the San Jose Sharks in Detroit at 7:30 pm EDT.

This is a big game for the Red Wings, they have to start getting points and quickly. Mike Babcock continues to shuffle the line-up looking for the perfect combination of players in order to create the more scoring opportunities for the Wings. The players will need to finish on their scoring chances though.

San Jose has been on a roll as of late by going 7-2-1 in their past ten games and are 1-0-1, while only giving up one goal against the Wings this season. Antti Niemi has been solid in net for the Sharks and the losses of Douglas Murray and Ryane Clowe were covered up very well by Raffi Torres and Scott Hannan.

Projected Line-up

Forwards

Henrik Zetterberg – Pavel Datsyuk – Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller – Johan Franzen – Gustav Nyquist

Daniel Cleary – Valtteri Filppula Damien Brunner

Cory Emmerton – Joakim Andersson – Jordin Tootoo

Defensemen

Niklas Kronwall – Jonathan Ericsson

Brendan Smith  Kyle Quincey

Jakub Kindl  Danny DeKeyser

Goaltender

Jimmy Howard

Jimmy Howard could be in line to finish out the season in net as the Wings have little faith in Jonas Gustavsson.

Valtteri Filppula has been moved down to center the 3rd line to give the Wings 3 skilled lines, while trying to jump start his game before the playoffs.

Franzen was moved to center on the second line and it has been going very well, hopefully the same things will happen for Filppula.

Good new for the Wings is that Damien Brunner is back from injury and ready to start scoring goals once more.

Gustav Nyquist continues to show promise up front, but when he gets glorious scoring chances like he did against the Blues he has to bury it.

On the defensive side Brendan Smith is back in the line-up and Ian White has been sent to the White Watchtower.

Prediction: The Wings need to come out fast and with three days rest there is no reason that they shouldn’t. They will get up on the Sharks early and hold on to win 2-1.

 

Tags: Detroit Red Wings