Filppula Returns Against Coyotes

 

Valterri Filppula will return from a two game absence because of a cut on his ankle in tonight’s tilt against the Phoenix Coyotes. Apparently he will be wearing Kevlar socks to decrease his chances of being cut again.

Detroit will have only one line-up change tonight, as Filppula is in and Cory Emmerton will sit. Chris Conner will make his third straight appearance tonight, and Jimmy Howard will start in net.

This is the first of four games between the two teams, who have met in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs each of the past two postseasons -- with the Red Wings winning both, including a four-game sweep last spring.

Phoenix is in a tough stretch of schedule right now. After playing the Wings, they will play 12 of its next 19 games away from Jobing.com Arena.

The keys to tonight’s game for the Red Wings is to stay out of the penalty box. They took eight penalties against the Blues in their 3-2 loss and it is one of the reasons they didn’t win.

Phoenix has only two injuries of note, with Michal Rozsival on IR and Rostislav Klesla day-to-day with a back injury.

Tonight’s crazy stat of the game via NHL.com:

"The Coyotes are an impressive 13-0-0 when leading after two periods and 13-1-3 when scoring the first goal. Conversely, they're 2-8-0 when the opponent scores first and 0-8-1 when trailing after two periods. The Red Wings are 10-2-1 at home and have won seven straight at Joe Louis Arena."

So basically, Detroit needs to be leading after one period and they have the game in the bag!

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Kyle Busch