From playing against one former assistant to another.
After playing the San Jose Sharks, coached by former Red Wings assistant Todd McLellan, the Wings take on new division rival Ottawa, coached by longtime former assistant Paul MacLean.
There are some juicy storylines to this game, but none more than Daniel Alfredsson facing his former team.
What: Ottawa Senators at Detroit Red Wings
When: 7:30 p.m. tonight
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
TV: Fox Sports Detroit, TSN
Records: The Red Wings are 6-3-1; the Senators are 3-3-2
Coaches: Mike Babcock is 451-239-19-91 in his 11th season as a head coach, and 382-177-76 in his ninth season with the Red Wings. MacLean is 69-51-18 in his third season with the Senators.
Season Series: The Red Wings won the only meeting in the 2011-12 season 5-3 on October 7, 2011.
|Henrik Zetterberg||Pavel Datsyuk||Justin Abdelkader|
|Todd Bertuzzi||Johan Franzen||Daniel Alfredsson|
|Daniel Cleary||Stephen Weiss||Tomas Tatar|
|Drew Miller||Joakim Andersson||Jordin Tootoo|
|Niklas Kronwall||Brendan Smith|
|Kyle Quincey||Danny DeKeyser|
|Brian Lashoff||Jakub Kindl|
|Milan Michalek||Jason Spezza||Cory Conacher|
|Clarke MacArthur||Kyle Turris||Bobby Ryan|
|Colin Greening||Zack Smith||Chris Neil|
|Derek Grant||Mika Zibanejad||Erik Condra|
|Erik Karlsson||Marc Methot|
|Chris Phillips||Eric Gryba|
|Jared Cowen||Joe Corvo|
Red Wings Update: The Wings had their best defensive performance in a 1-0 shootout loss to the Sharks on Monday, as Jimmy Howard stopped all 27 shots for his first shutout of the season. Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg continue to lead the team in scoring with 11 points each. Injury-wise, the Wings will not have Jonathan Ericsson (paternity leave/shoulder), Darren Helm (groin), and Patrick Eaves (knee). In addition, Niklas Kronwall is a game-time decision after taking a puck to the face at the morning skate. The team recalled Xavier Ouellet from Grand Rapids to play if Kronwall can't go.
Senators Update: The Senators have gotten off to somewhat of a slow start, but it's not making anyone in Ottawa hit the panic button. They are coming off of a 3-1 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Chris Neil scored the lone goal, while Robin Lehner stopped 18 of 20 shots. Jason Spezza (8 points–5 goals, 3 assists) leads the team in scoring. The Sens will be without Jean-Gabriel Pageau (undisclosed), and recalled Mika Zibanejad from their AHL affiliate in Binghamton.
What to Watch For:
Alfie Faces Old Friends: Unless you've been living under a rock since the end of last season, the biggest storyline is Alfredsson facing the team that he played for for 17 seasons. He still maintains friendships with his old teammates, but he probably should seek advice from Mike Modano on facing the Dallas Stars if he wants to know what it's like to face an old team.
The Perfect Human 2.0?: Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson has a Norris Trophy to his credit and probably would've had another had he not had his Achilles tendon sliced last season (which he came back from, but that's another story). From what I have seen of Karlsson, he reminds me of another famous Swedish defenseman who played 21 seasons with the Red Wings.
Lineup Stays Put: Babcock is keeping the same lineup from Monday, at least in terms of forwards. Johan Franzen stays at second-line center, where he won 58% of his draws against the Sharks. The Sens aren't as tough down the middle as the Sharks, so he could be a tough match against Spezza or Kyle Turris. Franzen also once scored five goals in a game against the Senators in February 2011.
Familiar Foe: Even with the move to the East, the Red Wings can't seem to get away from Bobby Ryan. The former Anaheim winger was a thorn in the Wings' side, and still gets to face the Wings at least four times a year after he was traded from the Ducks to the Senators last July. Ryan has played more games against the Red Wings than anyone on the Sens' roster.
Peskiness Everywhere: The Senators have been known as the "Pesky Sens" in the last couple of years, mostly due to the play of Chris Neil and Zack Smith. The two love to hit and drop the gloves. If there was a time for Jordin Tootoo to fight, tonight might be the night. The Wings only have one fight on the year, and that was Drew Miller fighting Colorado's Cory Sarich. Justin Abdelakder
Prediction: Some say that this could be a rivalry in the making with Alfie in Detroit. However, Alfie is still respected by the Senators players and fans, and MacLean is still respected by the Red Wings (mostly because of his mustache). Even with all the mutual respect, someone will have to lose. The fact that Ottawa is usually better later in the season will be the difference.
Make It: Red Wings 3, Senators 2
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