The Red Wings are coming off two big wins this week, which is huge for their confidence. The game in Montreal wasn’t pretty, but they got the job done thanks to a 43 save performance from Jonathan Bernier, his best outing as a Red Wing.

With hopes of collecting a third consecutive victory, the Red Wings will have to do so with a win versus the Los Angeles Kings, who currently sit in last place in the Western Conference with a 13-8-3 record.

Projected Lines

Detroit Red Wings

The projected lineup remains the same from the Montreal game. Injuries have started to lighten, with the only key player still out being Danny DeKeyser. Madison Bowey is the seventh defenseman and he could possibly sub in for one of Jonathan Ericsson or Alex Biega.

The newly created second line of Filip Zadina, Valtteri Filppula, and Anthony Mantha didn’t find their stride last night but some more playing time should help form some chemistry. At even strength, none of the three cracked 14:00 minutes of ice time. That could be some conservation on Jeff Blashill’s part to ease Mantha back into the lineup after being sidelined for three weeks.

Los Angeles Kings

Like the Red Wings, the Kings are rebuilding. As you can probably tell by the above lineup, it looks pretty rough on paper. After Anze Kopitar and Alex Iafallo, it’s hard to pinpoint a quality player. Tyler Toffoli on the fourth line has had an up-and-down season.

On the back-end they are quite inexperienced. Sean Walker has been a nice story. After that, the rest is skeptical. Drew Doughty has been in decline for some time now and is no longer the star defenseman he once was. It’s no surprise that Jonathan Quick has struggled so greatly this season.

Three Thoughts

1.) Goaltending resilience

Bernier had a game-stealing performance on Saturday, nearly posting a shutout in a 43 save game. With this being the second half of a back-to-back, backup goaltender Eric Comrie is most likely to get the start in net. Comrie played his first game as a Red Wing last week and it didn’t go so well. The Jets offense poured down for five goals.

With the Kings offense only being able to muster up 2.53 goals per game (fourth last in the NHL), this should be a fine opportunity for Comrie to get his footing and build some confidence.

2.) Potent powerplay?

Over the last four games, the Red Wings powerplay is converting at a much higher rate. They’ve clicked on 5 of 13 chances (38%). The addition of Zadina has certainly contributed to that. Mantha’s return is just another huge boost. Since Dennis Cholowski was assigned to Grand Rapids, Filip Hronek has taken over as the PP1 QB, while Zadina has been bumped to PP2.

The Kings have the second worst penalty-kill percentage in the league (73.3%). So if they are unable to remain disciplined, Detroit might get a few extra looks at high-end scoring chances.

3.) Previous matchup

These two teams met back on Nov. 14 and things didn’t go Detroit’s way. Despite holding a one goal lead in the final two minutes, Adrian Kempe connected for the Kings to tie the game. Iafallo later scored in overtime to win the game. The Red Wings will be looking for revenge in the form of two points.

In that previous matchup, L.A. had the advantage in the shot department, 31-21.