Wings Seek Royal Recovery

The Red Wings look to stop the bleeding tonight against the Los Angeles Kings at 7:30 PM. Detroit has been hampered by injuries and has lost their lead atop the NHL, Western Conference and Central Division over the past two weeks.

Detroit now sits four points behind St. Louis in the Central and the West. Los Angeles is battling with San Jose, Phoenix and Dallas for 1st in the Pacific Division. Only 5 points separate division head Dallas and Los Angeles. The race in the Pacific is especially important because it is possible that the division winner could be the only member of the division to make the playoffs if Colorado and Calgary make it in.

Neither team has played well in their last ten games (Detroit 5-4-1 and Los Angeles 4-5-1). Detroit’s power play has struggled throughout the season, looking particularly anemic of late with Pavel Datsyuk and Nick Lidstrom out. The Kings sported the least productive offense in the NHL before acquiring Jeff Carter at the deadline but have scored at least four goals in four of their six games since the trade with Columbus.

The Red Wings have dominated the Kings so far this season, beating them 4-1 and 8-2. Tomas Holmstrom (4 A) and red-hot Niklas Kronwall (2 G, 2 A) lead Detroit in the season series. Datsyuk (3 G), Cory Emmerton (2 G, 1 A), Dan Cleary (3 A), Johan Franzen (3 A) and Drew Miller (2 G) have all provided significant offense as well. Dustin Penner and Justin Williams both have 2 assists against Detroit this year for LA.

Since their NHL record home-winning streak, Detroit has lost 3 of 4 games at Joe Louis. The Red Wings will once again play without Nick Lidstrom, Pavel Datsyuk, Jimmy Howard, Todd Bertuzzi, Jonathan Ericsson, Jakub Kindl and Patrick Eaves. Detroit has recalled Griffins Gustav Nyquist and Joakim Andersson. Nyquist will be playing for sure and Andersson will be a game time decision based on the availability of Justin Abdelkader who has the flu.

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A.K. Bennett- @MrAdrianKeith