Detroit Red Wings head to Canada’s Capital to take on the Sens

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 14: Goaltenders Mike McKenna #33 of the Ottawa Senators and Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings stretch in front of the benches during warm-ups prior to an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on December 14, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Senators defeated the Red Wings 4-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 14: Goaltenders Mike McKenna #33 of the Ottawa Senators and Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings stretch in front of the benches during warm-ups prior to an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on December 14, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Senators defeated the Red Wings 4-2. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) /
facebooktwitterreddit

The Detroit Red Wings are flying high after beating the Leafs in Detroit last night on Red Kelly’s jersey retirement celebration.  Tonight they take to the road and head to Capitol of Canada to square off against the Ottawa Senators.

After a much needed nine-day break the Detroit Red Wings bested the Toronto Maple Leafs at home last night 3-2. The NHL schedule isn’t always the friendliest as they waste no time having to play back to back nights after a week of rest.  The Wings traveled to snowy Ottawa last night as they prepare to make quick work of the Sens.  The Sens are the lone team behind the Wings in the Atlantic Division.

The dysfunctional Sens seem a bit more stable now than they were a year ago.  After all the Erik Karlsson, Mike Hoffman drama and ownership issues the Sens find themselves in the basement of the NHL standings.

They are a rebuilding team with a few very talented young players.  Thomas Chobot is a spectacular young defenceman for the Sens.  He is an above average puck mover, a terrific skater, and is a gifted offensive defenseman.  He does lack defensive awareness, and like many young defensemen, he finds himself out of position every now and then. Over the next year or two, he will find his way with the defensive side of his game and looks like he will shape into one of the better defensemen in the entire league.

More from Octopus Thrower

Bobby Ryan seems a bit more rejuvenated this season.  He isn’t the player he once was back in his Anaheim days playing on their top line with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry, but he is still a valuable veteran winger who can still find the back of the net.  He’s hot right now having recorded 6 goals and 11 points over his last 12 games.  He’s recorded 12 goals on the season.  He’s getting a few more opportunities this season than he saw last year with Mike Hoffman in the Sens lineup.

Mark Stone is a premier winger in this league; he’s a guy that flies a bit under the radar but is exceptionally talented.  He and Matt Duchene  are both pending unrestricted free agents that the Senators are trying to extend before they hit the open market on July 1st.

Stone is enjoying a point per game season with a bad Senators club.  He’s got 51 points in 51 games this season, 22 of which are goals.  He’s also a plus 14 and has a solid 52.3 CF%.  His centerman Duchene has 48 points in 41 games this season and is a minus -1 on the year with a bad CF% of 45.9%.  The points don’t always tell the story.  Although Duchene  is having a solid season statistically from a point per game point of view, Stone is having a much better all-around season.

Dylan Larkin injured himself in the overtime frame last night as he was backchecking vigorously at the tail end of his shift when he went down to the ice holding his side wincing in pain.  He was able to stay on the ice for another 30 seconds or so as he found himself with Athanasiou enjoying an odd-man rush.  After that scoring chance, Larkin exited the ice-surface and headed right into the Detroit Red Wings locker room.

The good news is Larkin was expected to travel with the team to Ottawa but his availability for tonight is still in question.  Larkin is about the only player the Detroit Red Wings can’t afford to lose for an extended period of time.

Tyler Bertuzzi and Michael Rasmussen are both expected to rejoin the Wings next week.  Bertuzzi is sidelined with an upper-body injury and considered day to day.  Rasmussen is finishing up a conditioning stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins.

The Detroit Red Wings need to build off of their success last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.  The Wings special teams were on point; they went 5 for 5 on the penalty kill.  That is something to be proud of with all of the firepower the Leafs have.  They were also able to score on the power-play.  They went 1-4 with the man advantage, and that is a bright spot because they’ve struggled scoring goals all season long.

With the uncertainty of Dylan Larkin for tonight, we are creating a lineup with him involved.  If he is out, I would expect Nielsen and Glendening to be bumped up, and Athanasiou, Helm, and Ehn to all take their fair share of draws.

Jonathan Bernier will get the nod between the pipes tonight with Howard playing last evening.  Bernier brings a hideous 5-12-2 record with an unpleasant .892% save percentage and 3.52 goals against average into the cage.

The Detroit Red Wings projected lineup:

Justin Abdelkader (A) – Dylan Larkin (A) – Gustav Nyquist

Thomas Vanek – Frans Nielsen (A) – Anthony Mantha

Andreas Athanasiou – Luke Glendening – Darren Helm

Christoffer Ehn – Jacob de La Rose – Martin Frk

Niklas Kronwall (A) – Mike Green

Danny DeKeyser – Nick Jensen

Jonathan Ericsson – Dennis Cholowski

Jonathan Bernier

Jimmy Howard

Next. Trade Deadline Chatter: Who is staying, who is going?. dark

Game Information:

Detroit Red Wings 20-25-7 vs. Ottawa Senators 19-27-5
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Location: Canadian Tire Centre, Kanata, ON
TV:  Fox Sports Detroit Plus, City TV, Fox Sports Go, NHL.TV, ESPN+
Radio: 97.1 The Ticket
Oddshark Odds fav: Senators -120