The Detroit Red Wings take on the Winnipeg Jets, the team that spoiled their Canadian road trip, tonight at 7:30 p.m. EST.
The Red Wings dropped their fifth straight game at home against the Lightning on Saturday, their worst losing streak at home in a long time and they need to stop that skid tonight. To be able to do that; the second, third, and fourth lines need to start producing on a more regular basis. Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk are very good, but they cannot do this all by themselves.
While the Wings have been having trouble scoring, the Jets have scored 9 goals in the last two games and seven games where the Jets scored more than 3 goals. Their second, third, and fourth line have all been able to produce and Ondrej Pavelec has been solid in net.
Jimmy Howard was forced to make 43 saves against the Jets in Winnipeg to keep the Wings in the game and he will be looking for some help tonight to make sure it does not happen again.
Nine of the Red Wings last 13 points have come from the first line, that type of production is not sustainable and others need to step up.
Johan Franzen will return to the line-up tonight after missing three games and it will be interesting to see if he comes out strong or rusty.
With the return of Franzen, Tomas Tatar will drop back down to the second line. The move should benefit the Wings because Tatar will be playing against easier competition, which make him scoring a goal much more likely.
The bottom two lines need to produce and Tatar and Andersson have some chemistry together, which will hopefully lead to points.
Luke Glendening will center the fourth line once again and if the Wings had room for him on the roster they would keep him up for the entire season because he has been that good. He wins face-offs, dominates the penalty kill, and is a very physical player.
Prediction: Detroit cannot allow this losing streak at home to continue and they won’t. 3-1 Red Wings victory.
ICYMI: Take a look at John Evan’s view on Military Appreciation Night from the eyes of a veteran.
If you’re looking to go to the game, Red Wings tickets are still available so grab some now before they are all gone!