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The California road trip continues with the only stop in Los Angeles tonight. For the first time this season, the Wings are coming into a game on a win streak after a statement game against Boston and comebacks over Vegas and Anaheim. They’ll face off against a Kings team that is just 2-6-1 over their last nine games, but did just recently win Tuesday.

With the production thanks to Fabbri, and the boost from a big comeback victory over the Ducks in OT, another win is possible if the Wings keep pressure on a similar rebuilding team.

Projected Lines

Detroit Red Wings

LW C RW
Tyler Bertuzzi
TYLER BERTUZZI
Dylan Larkin
DYLAN LARKIN
Anthony Mantha
ANTHONY MANTHA
Robby Fabbri
ROBBY FABBRI
Valtteri Filppula
VALTTERI FILPPULA
Andreas Athanasiou
ANDREAS ATHANASIOU
Brendan Perlini
BRENDAN PERLINI
Frans Nielsen
FRANS NIELSEN
Adam Erne
ADAM ERNE
Darren Helm
DARREN HELM
Christoffer Ehn
CHRISTOFFER EHN
Givani Smith
GIVANI SMITH

 

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Dennis Cholowski
DENNIS CHOLOWSKI
Mike Green
MIKE GREEN
Filip Hronek
FILIP HRONEK
Madison Bowey
MADISON BOWEY
Alex Biega
ALEX BIEGA
Dylan McIlrath
DYLAN MCILRATH

The defensive pairings are still a stab in the dark after the lineup changes. Filip Hronek did not participate in the morning skate but it hasn’t been determined yet if he will be a scratch. With Ericsson and Hicketts being called up, Mcilrath may sit tonight.

Jonathan Bernier is in-between the pipes for the fourth straight game. Justin Abdelkader and Patrik Nemeth have both been placed on injured reserve, retroactive to Nov. 10. Hirose looks to be a scratch again as well.

Los Angeles Kings

LW C RW
Alex Iafallo
ALEX IAFALLO
Anze Kopitar
ANZE KOPITAR
Dustin Brown
DUSTIN BROWN
Jeff Carter
JEFF CARTER
Mike Amadio
MIKE AMADIO
Tyler Toffoli
TYLER TOFFOLI
Adrian Kempe
ADRIAN KEMPE
Blake Lizotte
BLAKE LIZOTTE
Austin Wagner
AUSTIN WAGNER
Kyle Clifford
KYLE CLIFFORD
Nikolai Prokhorkin
NIKOLAI PROKHORKIN
Matt Luff
MATT LUFF

 

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Alec Martinez
ALEC MARTINEZ
Drew Doughty
DREW DOUGHTY
Ben Hutton
BEN HUTTON
Sean Walker
SEAN WALKER
Joakim Ryan
JOAKIM RYAN
Matt Roy
MATT ROY

Anze Kopitar leads the Kings in points with 18 (6-12) with Brown and Doughty tied at 10 behind him. Kempe is also slotting in the wing tonight over Grundstrom. Ilya Kovalchuk did skate during their optional practice, but is not expected to play tonight.

Jonathan Quick is likely to get the start tonight. He’s 10-14-1 in his career against Detroit, with a 2.76 goals against average along with a .907 save percentage.

Three Thoughts

1.) Ericsson’s Return

Starting the season on the IR, Jonathan Ericsson is making his season debut after clearing waivers and spending 10 games with the Griffins. During that time, he had a +4 rating with 8 penalty minutes and 2 assists. It’ll be interesting to see how he adjusts back into the roster after missing some time and what positive (or negative) attributes comes with.

2.) Defensive Woes

Both Los Angeles and Detroit have horrible defensive numbers. Detroit’s 3.75 goals allowed per game is bad enough to find them at the very bottom of the league, with LA nearly matching at 3.72. The Kings 3-1 win over the Wild on Tuesday was actually the first time in nine games that they had given up fewer than 3 goals.

Both teams are offensively challenged, but this game is a perfect opportunity for Detroit to continue to gain confidence. Eh, Erne, Nielsen, and Perlini have yet to record a single point, this game would be a huge boost for them if they could produce tonight. The Wings are only averaging 2.3 goals per night, the depth players really need to start picking it up.

3.) Basement Battle

Both Wings and Kings fans are hoping for a very high draft pick next year. LA sits at the bottom of the NHL from their 6-11-1 record, with Detroit being 7-12-1 – which puts them at 28th in the league. It’s hard to say this early if these 2 points would determine draft rankings, but realistically a win for either team tonight would only be for confidence.

However, Detroit needs their young players to keep performing consistently and developing. With Athanasiou’s scoring touch returning and the entire first line performing, this is an opponent you want to bury as many pucks past as you can. The power play has been clicking recently, hopefully counting in that direction after tonight. Likewise, it’s important to lower that 3.75 goals allowed average, which the Wings can start doing by not letting LA overwhelm them.