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Tampa Bay Lightning at Detroit Red Wings: Game Day Preview

Referee holds hands up in front of a scrum at the Red Wings net
Oct 12, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; referee Jean Hebert (15) waves off a goal by New Jersey Devils right wing Timo Meier (28) as Detroit Red Wings right wing Christian Fischer (36) reacts during the second period at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

Game #2: Tampa Bay Lightning @ Detroit Red Wings
Time: 7:00pm ET
Location: Little Caesars Arena – Detroit, MI
Broadcast/Streaming: BS SUN, BS DET, BallySports.com, 102.5 MHz-FMLightning Radio 24/7
Opponent’s Site: Winging It In Motown

Preview

The Tampa Bay Lightning are kicking off a three-game road trip in Detroit, where I’m sure the whole game will be a calm, peaceful, and friendly affair. Cough.

The Red Wings were a bad team last year and finished 7th in the Atlantic Division, but not bad enough to get a top pick in the draft after sitting at a mediocre 24th in the league. Despite being a young, rebuilding team, the Red Wings have added a lot of veteran players through free agency in each of the last few summers. Shayne Gostisbehere, Jeff Petry, and Justin Holl were added on defense, as well as JT Compher up front. Yzerman did make a big move for Alex Debrincat, who’s now signed long term after Ottawa fumbled that bag.

In net is any one of three goalies. The Wings needed to get extra insurance after their hopes of Ville Husso being the comfortable starter were dashed after a bad season. We’ll see if a second year can get him back to where he was in his short NHL career in St. Louis.

In their first game of the new season, Detroit out-shot the Devils 35-27 thanks to a big first period where they failed to score. One doesn’t make a pattern, but we’ll see if Detroit comes out of the gate flying again at home. As young teams often are, offense is going to be readily flowing from the Red Wings, as is the porosity of defense the other way. Forechecking and capitalizing on mistakes at the defensive blueline could be the way to go tonight.

For the Lightning, they’re coming off a 5-3 win over the Nashville Predators to open the season early in the week and have spent the rest of that time practicing and extending their training camp. Training never stops except on days off.

The only change the Lightning have had to account for this week is losing Tyler Motte to an injury and choosing who to replace him with for the time being. Up first is going to be Austin Watson. Alex Barre-Boulet might also get a look at some point during this trip. Waltteri Merelä is waiting in the wings on the fourth line and might also get a shot up the lineup. At the moment, that job is completely open for grabs to anyone in the organization and out. I’ll be keeping an eye on the Syracuse Crunch and the waiver wire for solutions if one isn’t found on the roster that’s already constructed. As will JBB, presumably.

Also come with this new season is a new NHL website. It’s got a lot of bugs. Their gamecenter box scores don’t show when a team scores on an empty net, the player stats no longer show power play or penalty kill time on ice, faceoff counts are gone and only replaced with percentages, there is now way to access the official game sheet with all the raw data, and you have to click through a menu to read all the penalties.

Stats Matchup

Game #2Tampa Bay LightningDetroit Red Wings
Overall Record46-30-635-37-10
Home Record28-8-519-17-5
Away Record18-22-116-20-5
Goals For283237
Goals Against254275
xGF280.7226.6
xGA261.1244.0
PP%25.4%21.1%
PK%79.7%78.3%
Data based on 2022-23 final regular season numbers and provided by Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com

Projected Tampa Bay Lightning Lines

Conor Sheary – Brayden Point – Nikita Kucherov
Brandon Hagel – Anthony Cirelli – Steven Stamkos
Michael Eyssimont – Nick Paul – Austin Watson
Tanner Jeannot – Luke Glendening – Waltteri Merelä

Victor Hedman – Nick Perbix
Mikhail Sergachev – Darren Raddysh
Calvin de Haan – Erik Cernak

Jonas Johansson – projected starter
Matt Tomkins

Scratches: Alex Barre-Boulet, Zach Bogosian, Haydn Fleury

via Chris Krenn and Gabby Shirley

Projected Detroit Red Wings Lines

Reports from practice are Robby Fabbri can’t go so the Wings are playing 11/7, with Olli Maatta presumably joining the lineup. Up to $10.5 million on the third and fourth pair. The Wings won’t be calling up a prospect to fill the spot left by Fabbri, who’s day-to-day, but will likely be one of Zach Aston-Reese, Austin Czarnik, or Taro Hirose. Personally, I’d call up 23-year-old Jonatan Berggren, who played almost all of last season on the Wings and is entirely too good for the AHL. He’s also been an important player on the international stage for Sweden.

Alex DeBrincat – Dylan Larkin – Lucas Raymond
David Perron – JT Compher – Robby Fabbri
Daniel Sprong – Andrew Copp – Michael Rasmussen
Klim Kostin – Joe Veleno – Christian Fischer

Lucas Walman – Moritz Seider
Ben Chiarot – Jeff Petry
Shayne Gostisbehere – Justin Holl

Ville Husso – projected starter
James Reimer

Scratches: Olli Maatta, Alex Lyon

via: Ansar Khan and Daniella Bruce

Can I say it’s quite expensive to pay $7.5 million for a third pair?

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