Following a miserable 10-28-3 start to the season, Detroit will happily turn the calendar to 2020. Tonight’s contest marks the Red Wings’ first game of the New Year and it’s also the beginning of their two-game road trip. Prior to the conclusion of 2019, the Red Wings were able to record their first shutout of the season during their 2-0 victory over the Sharks.

Entering tonight’s game, Dallas will be looking to extend their current three-game winning streak. During that span, the Stars have scored three goals or more in each of their last three games. In addition, the Stars have also allowed just two goals during each of those games as well. Given Detroit’s key injuries, it may become difficult for their team to outscore Dallas on the road later tonight.

Projected Lines

Detroit Red Wings

Patrik Nemeth
Filip Hronek
Trevor Daley
Madison Bowey
Brian Lashoff
Mike Green

Unfortunately for Detroit, there’s still no update regarding the statuses of Andreas Athanasiou and Anthony Mantha. So, that means Robby Fabbri will continue to skate alongside Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin (remember to not vote for him) on the Red Wings’ top line.

Due to injuries, it seems that Filip Zadina will remain in the NHL for the majority of the second half of the season. Coming into tonight’s game, Zadina has just one goal and two points over his last six games.¬†Hopefully, a lengthy stay in the big leagues will help the young forward settle in and start producing regularly for the Red Wings.

Dallas Stars

Esa Lindell
John Klingberg
Jamie Oleksiak
Miro Heiskanen
Andrej Sekera
Roman Polak

After elbowing Predators defenseman Ryan Ellis in the head during the Winter Classic back on New Year’s Day, Corey Perry will very likely be suspended before puck drop later tonight. Although, his departure from Dallas’ lineup shouldn’t have a major effect on the rest of their roster, as the veteran forward hasn’t scored a goal since Nov. 19.

During Dallas’ winning streak, their first line has been featured on the score sheet during all three games. Meaning, the Red Wings will have their handsful attempting to slow down the Stars’ high powered top line.

Three Thoughts

1.) Unsuccessful with Both Offensive & Defensive Zone Faceoffs

Through 41 games this season, the Red Wings have been one of the worst offensive zone face-off winning teams in the entire league. Currently, Detroit owns a 50.3% OZ FOW percentage, which ranks tenth-worst throughout the league. Despite the Stars creating the 14th-best DZ FOW% (49.2%), they’ll likely still dominate the Red Wings while defending in their own zone.

While Detroit is tied for the ninth-best DZ FOW% (50.1%) in the league, Dallas owns a league-leading 56.5% OZ FOW percentage. Meaning, the Red Wings will likely struggle to control possession of the puck on the road against the Stars.

2.) Sloppy, Sloppy Hockey

At the midway point of the season, both the Red Wings and the Stars have failed to maintain possession of the puck throughout the game. So far this season, Dallas has generated the third-most total giveaways (503) and giveaways per 60 minutes (2.48) as well. As for Detroit, their squad has given away the puck the fourth-most times (496) along with being tied for the fourth-most giveaways/60 minutes (2.45).

In addition, the Red Wings have also allowed a combined 76 turnovers over their previous four games, which is the second-most in the league during that span. Based on the high number of goals Dallas has scored during their winning streak, they’ll likely generate the majority of their offense off of turnovers from Detroit. So, the Red Wings will need to capitalize on the Stars’ turnovers in hopes of leaving American Airlines Center with a victory.

3.) Top-Line Domination

Entering tonight’s game, the Stars’ first line will be seeking to continue their impressive first-half performance into the second half. Currently, the trio of Jamie Benn, Tyler Seguin and Alexander Radulov have tailed a combined 79 points this season, which is 27.2% of Dallas’ total points.

Specifically, that trio has been extremely dominant since the start of December. During that time, they have produced a combined 33 points over 14 games played. For the Red Wings to be victorious, they’ll need to contain the Stars’ top line, which seems to be a very difficult task to complete.