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Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning: Game Preview

December 12th, 2013 at 4:54 PM
By Frank Vajcner

The Red Wings continue their Florida road trip with a drive up I-75 to Tampa to take on the Lightning.

What: Detroit Red Wings at Tampa Bay Lightning

When: 7:30 p.m. tonight

Where: Tampa Bay Times Forum, Tampa, Florida

TV: Fox Sports Detroit, NHL Network US

Records: The Red Wings are 15-9-8; the Lightning are 17-10-3

Season Series: Lightning lead 1-0-0

Last Meeting: Teddy Purcell scored the winning goal in overtime as the Lightning came away with a 3-2 win at Joe Louis Arena. Henrik Zetterberg scored both goals for the Wings.

Projected Lineups:

Red Wings:

Forwards

 

Gustav NyquistPavel DatsyukTodd Bertuzzi
Justin AbdelkaderJohan FranzenDaniel Alfredsson
Tomas TatarJoakim AnderssonDrew Miller
Daniel ClearyCory EmmertonMikael Samuelsson

 

Defensemen

Niklas KronwallJonathan Ericsson
Kyle QuinceyBrendan Smith
Brian LashoffJakub Kindl

 

Goaltenders

Jonas Gustavsson (starting)
Petr Mrazek

 

Lightning:

Forward

Ondrej Palat

Tyler Johnson

Martin St. Louis

Alex Killorn

Valtteri Filppula

Teddy Purcell

J.T. Brown

Nate Thompson

Nikita Kucherov

B.J. Crombeen

Dana Tyrell

Mark Barberio

 

 

Defense

Matthew Carle

Radko Gudas

Sami Salo

Andrej Sustr

Matt Taormina

Eric Brewer

 

 

Goalie

Ben Bishop

 
 
Red Wings Update: It was more of the same old story for the Red Wings as they blew a two-goal lead in the third period and lost in a shootout to the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night. Todd Bertuzzi and Pavel Datsyuk scored both goals for the Wings. Datsyuk still leads the team in goals scored with 13 on the year, and could easily surpass last season's total (15 in 47 games). Injuries still seem to be a problem for the Wings, as Henrik Zetterberg (back), Darren Helm (shoulder), Stephen Weiss (groin), Danny DeKeyser (shoulder), and Jimmy Howard (knee) are all out. Jonas Gustavsson is starting as planned tonight, while Petr Mrazek was recalled to serve as the backup.
 
Lightning Update: Much like the Wings, the Lightning have had injury problems too, but they have been hit much harder. Leading scorer Steven Stamkos has been out since mid-November with a broken tibia. In addition, the Lightning will be without the services of Mattias Ohlund (knee), Ryan Malone (foot), Tom Pyatt (collar bone), Keith Aulie (hand), and Victor Hedman (lower body). The team will also be without Richard Panik, who was suspended for boarding in Tuesday's 6-5 loss to the Capitals.
 
Players to Watch:
 
Red Wings:
 
Datsyuk: Besides being close to surpassing last season's goal output, he scored a goal on Tuesday in his first game back from a concussion.
 
Johan Franzen: The Mule has been hot with 11 points in his last eight games.
 
Daniel Alfredsson: Alfie celebrated his 41st birthday yesterday. A win would be a nice late birthday present.
 
Lightning:
 
Martin St. Louis: 30 points on the year for the reigning Art Ross winner.
 
Valtteri Filppula: The former Red Wing just keeps on keepin' on with 20 points in 30 games.
 
Ben Bishop: He has stabilized the Lightning's goaltending situation, and could be in line for an Olympic spot with a strong outing tonight.
 
Prediction: I will probably get a lot of flack for this, but I think it's important to be blunt and not sugarcoat anything. The Wings still can't close out games. Until that issue gets fixed, a victory will not be in the cards.
 
Make It: Lightning 3, Red Wings 2

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Tags: Daniel Alfredsson, Detroit, Detroit Red Wings, Hockey, Johan Franzen, Jonas Gustavsson, NHL, Pavel Datsyuk

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