The Detroit Red Wings take on the Chicago Blackhawks on home ice tonight at 8:00 p.m. EST.
The Red Wings are coming off of a poor loss to the Blues and are looking to rebound with a big win tonight. For they Wings to pull off a victory, they need to start playing better defensively and limit the shots on net to a reasonable number, while getting a plethora of shots for themselves.
The Blackhawks are 3-0-2 in their past five games and they know how to light the lamp, something that has eluded the Red Wings all season. Hossa, Kane, and Sharp all have at least 20 goals this season and shutting their production down will be the top priority for Detroit tonight.
- The Red Wings have a 401-321-84 overall record against the Blackhawks and sport a 64.3 winning percentage on home ice.
- Since 2010, the Red Wings are 12-11-0 against the Blackhawks and it will be the team first meeting since the Wings’ game seven loss in the playoffs last season.
- Darren Helm returned to the line-up against the Blues and looked very dangerous and should be once again tonight.
- Jimmy Howard was hurt in the second period of the Blues game and will be out at least a week. Howard was placed on STIR, while Jonas Gustavsson, his replacement in net, has been taken off STIR.
- Gustavsson was doing a great job in net for Detroit before being injured and the Red Wings need him to be great once again tonight.
- Mike Babcock has some decisions to make on defense if Jonathan Ericsson returns to the ice tomorrow. Ericsson stated that he was ready to play and has been activated from STIR, but Babcock has not committed to it yet.
- On the offensive front, we could see Darren Helm’s line get more ice time tonight than Riley Sheahan‘s. Helm was a catalyst for Detroit against the Blues and tonight he should be even better.
- In other news, Todd Bertuzzi is on the NHL’s longest active scoreless streak for a forward, which now sits at 18 games. He needs to get going soon.
- Gustav Nyquist getting a goal against the Blues could be just what he needed to jump-start his production.
Prediction: The Red Wings haven’t been playing well defensively, but have gotten away with it for the most part. That will not happen tonight and the Hawks will beat the Wings 3-1.
UPDATE: Jakub Kindl is a healthy scratch tonight.