Wings look to continue home win streak against Vancouver
It's a showdown between the top two teams in the Western Conference, and right now the Red Wings lead the season series 2-1.
But a lot has changed since the last meeting between these two. The Red Wings have made history and now hold a 23 game consecutive win streak at the Joe. The Canucks are now only two points behind the Wings. And the Wings also happen to be without their star forward Pavel Datsyuk.
The 33 year-old is expected to miss a month after having surgery on his knee. Datsyuk 16 goals and 43 assists this season, so it is to no surprise that fans may be a bit nervous about his absence.
"Pav's been out before and he's a huge part of our team but we're going to need guys to step up. This is an opportunity for other guys now to play in a role maybe they're not used to playing in, maybe getting some more ice time, and they're going to find a way to get it done for us." said goalie Jimmy Howard when asked about missing Datsyuk.
And in other Red Wing news about getting over injuries, Howard made his return on Tuesday in Chicago, although it resulted in a loss.
The Wings will also see a new addition to the line up tonight, defenseman Kyle Quincey. Quincey is no stranger to playing in a Wings jersey, and many may be comforted in the fact that Jonathan Ericsson will have more help on the ice.
Without Datsyuk the Wings certainly have an obstacle to get over, but with Valtteri Filppula having a s good stretch as of late (points in 4 of the last 5 games), expect to see some of Detroit's other forwards making an impact like they have all season.
Vancouver is looking good as well, even after a loss to Nashville on Tuesday. The Brothers Sedin and Alexandre Burrows line didn't do anything in that game, but they racked up 16 points over the weekend, in victories against Edmonton and Toronto.
The Canucks also have their injuries as well. Keith Ballard (neck) and Byron Bitz (hip) will be out for tonight.
The Western Conference is on the line, and puck drop is at 7:30. Be sure to follow TCL Red Wings on Twitter for the live updates during the game.