Detroit Red Wings Vs Pittsburgh Penguins Game Preview. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Monster Mash | Detroit Red Wings Vs Pittsburgh Penguins Game Preview

The Detroit Red Wings are back home to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins at 7:00 p.m. EST.

The Red Wings dropped three games in a row and are on the verge of going on another long losing streak if they lose tonight. The team had a lot of hustle against the Lightning and they will need to bring that same level of work ethic into tonight’s game if they want to pull out a win.

The Penguins have won 7 of their last 8 games heading into tonight’s game. James Neal is out of the line-up due to suspension, but the Red Wings will have to find a way to limit Crosby and Malkin because they are on hot streaks after putting up 8 points each in the past five games.

Projected Line-up

Forwards

Justin Abdelkader – Pavel Datsyuk – Daniel Alfredsson

Gustav Nyquist – Johan Franzen – Todd Bertuzzi

Drew Miller – Joakim Andersson – Tomas Tatar

Daniel Cleary – Luke GlendeningPatrick Eaves

Defensemen

Jonathan Ericsson – Niklas Kronwall

Brendan Smith – Kyle Quincey

Jakub Kindl – Brian Lashoff 

Goaltender

Jonas Gustavsson

The Red Wings have a 69-67-16 overall record against the Penguins and have a 69.7% winning percentage at Joe Louis Arena.

Tonight will be the Red Wing’s first test against the Penguins this season, but since 2010, the Red Wings are 2-3-0 against the Penguins.

Cory Emmerton has been sent back down to the Griffins, which means Patrick Eaves and Luke Glendening make their return to Detroit tonight!

Mikael Samuelsson is looking to be a scratch tonight and Eaves will replace him in the line-up.

Jimmy Howard will be out of the line-up for 2-4 weeks dues to a sprained MCL and it could cause him to miss the Winter Classic, Petr Mrazek will continue to back-up Gustavsson.

The injury does not change Mike Babcock’s plan in net though, it was always Jonas Gustavsson‘s night and Mrazek will back him up.

Darren Helm, Henrik Zetterberg, and Danny DeKeyser are looking to return on December 28th, a couple of days before the Winter Classic, but Helm and DeKeyser might be able to return before that date.

It looks like Stephen Weiss will be out on the line-up through Christmas and his Winter Classic status is in jeopardy.

I was not a fan of the Justin Abdelkader – Pavel Datsyuk – Daniel Alfredsson line against Tampa Bay. I feel having Todd Bertuzzi up on that line over Abdelkader would have created more opportunities for Datsyuk and taken some pressure off him.

Johan Franzen‘s offensive production might decrease today because he will be called upon to defend against Crosby or Malkin and both will be tough assignments for him.

The Drew Miller – Joakim Andersson – Tomas Tatar line looked very good in their return to form and the Wings will be looking at them to provide pressure and secondary scoring tonight.

Prediction: This will be a tough game for the Red Wings, but they seem to play to the level of their opponents and could run away with tonight’s game like they did against Boston, but I will be conservative. Wings win 3-2.

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Tags: Detroit Red Wings NHL

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