The Detroit Red Wings take on the young and the hopeless, Edmonton Oilers tonight at 10:00 p.m. EDT.
Detroit would like to continue winning on the Western Canadian Road Trip, but if they have another period like the second period they had against the Flames it could go all wrong. Protecting the puck should be first and foremost for the young defense and the forwards cannot chase as much.
The Oilers game tonight should be an easy one for the Wings, they are on a four game losing streak, they have only been able to win three game this season, and Taylor Hall is out for a month. Even with all of that, the Red Wings cannot go into the game thing that it will be easy, they have to hustle and keep the puck deep in the Edmonton zone.
Jimmy Howard will receive a rest tonight, he played 6 games in a row and having a game off will help keep him fresh.
Petr Mrazek will receive his first start of the season tonight because Jonas Gustavsson has been placed on short term IR due to a stiff neck.. Mrazek backed up Howard earlier in the year, but Gustavsson returned before he could start a game in net.
Johan Franzen‘s return did not last long as he was knocked out of the game at the end of the second period.
Darren Helm should be returning to the line-up tonight in Edmonton and with Franzen possibly out it would give them a solid 3rd/4th line center.
The defense once again limited the amount of shots that Howard saw against the Flames and clamped down late in the third period. Danny DeKeyser and Niklas Kronwall have been a great pairing and I could see Babcock having to make a hard decision when Jonathan Ericsson returns if they continue to play well together.
Prediction: The Wings will try to protect their young goaltender tonight by clamping down on defense. 2-0 victory for the Wings.
UPDATE: Patrick Eaves is out and Mikael Samuelsson is in tonight.