Tonight the Red Wings take on the Penguins in a playoff preview. Detroit and Pittsburgh will most likely be seeded seventh and second, respectively, in the playoffs in two weeks. There is still some hatred left over from the 2008 and 2009 finals and the two teams will try to set the tone for the matchup tonight.
Both Detroit and Pittsburgh have be riddled by injuries this season, but have had players returning the lineup recently. Pittsburgh is expected to have Sidney Crosby, Chris Kunitz, Olli Maatta, and Kris Letang back in the lineup tonight after missing time. It will be nice to see Letang back on the ice after suffering a stroke in January. It’s speaks to a hockey player’s toughness to overcome something like that, even if they do play for the Penguins. The Red Wings will look to find more chemistry in the lineup tonight heading into the playoffs.
Here are the expected lineups for tonight per DailyFaceoff:
What to watch for tonight:
-Will Luke Glendening continue to get under the skin of Sidney Crosby and James Neal. Him shutting down Pittsburgh’s top forwards is crucial to winning tonight and the first round of the playoffs.
-Can Detroit’s penalty kill keep Pittsburgh’s power play off of the scoresheet. Minimizing penalties is one way to shut them down, but if the Red Wings take penalties, can their PK stop Crosby, Neal, Letang, Kunitz, and company?
-Can the Red Wings’ power play capitalize? 0-for against Buffalo isn’t very good and will need to be better against Pittsburgh. Power plays can win a playoff series.
-Can Mike Babcock keep ideal matchups against tonight? Pittsburgh will have home ice advantage and last change tonight and in the playoffs. Can the Red Wings match up well to shut down Pittsburgh’s offense, while providing offense of their own?
-Will Gustav Nyquist score? IT’S BEEN TOO LONG WITHOUT A GOOSE GOAL.
Check back tomorrow for a #tbt throwback to a huge trade that almost was.