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After a miserable two-game road trip, the Red Wings are set to begin a three-game home-stand starting tonight against the Canadiens. During their recent trip, Detroit allowed a total of eight goals and tallied just three of their own. Following their strong opening period in Chicago where they controlled a two-goal lead, Detroit faltered during the final 40 minutes of play by allowing four unanswered goals.

Entering tonight’s matchup against the Canadiens, the Red Wings will be attempting to turn their recent woes around against a team that has also been decimated by injuries this season. Currently, Montreal is without both Brendan Gallagher and Jonathan Drouin, who are each a key part of their offensive scheme. In addition, the Canadiens also enter tonight’s game on a six-game losing streak.

Projected Lines

Detroit Red Wings

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Patrik Nemeth
PATRIK NEMETH
Filip Hronek
FILIP HRONEK
Madison Bowey
MADISON BOWEY
Trevor Daley
TREVOR DALEY
Brian Lashoff
BRIAN LASHOFF
Mike Green
MIKE GREEN

Since there’s still no injury update for either Anthony Mantha or Andreas Athanasiou, Filip Zadina should continue to receive a significant increase involving his ice time. Over the past two games, the first-year winger has seen his TOI increase to 16 minutes against Dallas and 19 minutes on Sunday in Chicago.

While the young exciting forward hasn’t displayed all of his recent success on the scoreboard, as he’s only created one goal on four shots over the last two games, Zadina is bound to break out if these extended minutes continue over into the next few games.

Montreal Canadiens 

DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
Ben Chiarot
BEN CHIAROT
Shea Weber
SHEA WEBER
Marco Scandella
MARCO SCANDELLA
Jeff Petry
JEFF PETRY
Victor Mete
VICTOR METE
Cale Fleury
CALE FLEURY

During four of the Canadiens’ last six defeats, their squad has sustained a significant offensive decline. As a result of the loss of Gallagher, Montreal has failed to score more than two goals in each of their last four games. The Canadiens leading goal scorer, Tomas Tatar, is also goalless in five straight games as well.

If Montreal is to end their current slide, they’ll need their first two lines to perform extremely better against Detroit later tonight.

Three Thoughts

1.) More Hits Than Shots For 2nd Straight Game

During Detroit’s previous game in Chicago, both teams combined for a total of 80 hits, which was nearly double the 48 combined shots on net that were recorded. Coming into tonight’s contest, those same results are likely to occur within Little Caesars Arena. Since Dec. 1, both the Red Wings and Canadiens have been two of the more physical teams in the league.

During that span, Montreal has induced the second-most hits (454) in the entire league. As for Detroit, their team has generated the tenth-most hits (357) throughout the entire league since the start of December. Based on these results, both teams will require a ton of ice packs after the game.

2.) Lots, Lots and Lots of Action For Jonathan Bernier

Despite facing just 26 shots during his latest start in Dallas, the 31-year-old has been pounded with shots since Dec. 14. During four of his last six starts, Bernier has faced an average of 38.5 shots on net/game. Through his 19 career games against Montreal, Bernier has also seen 30.8 shots on goal/game as well.

During their 18 games since Dec. 1, the Canadiens have averaged the most shots on net per game (35.4) throughout the entire league. Since the Red Wings have allowed an average of 32.1 shots on net/game during that span, Bernier will likely face 30-plus shots during tonight’s contest.

3.) Ilya Kovalchuk Scores His 1st Goal With Montreal

After his last point came against the Senators back on Nov. 7, Kovalchuk was able to produce his first assist during his debut with the Canadiens against the Jets on Monday. Later in that game, Kovalchuk nearly scored his first goal with Montreal. After charging hard to the net in the third period, the right-hander would have been able to push the puck across the goal line if he wasn’t shoved into the net, breaking his stick on the play.

Prior to his contract termination with Los Angeles, the 36-year-old scored three goals and nine points over 17 games played. After coming so close to recording his first goal since Oct. 19, Kovalchuk will be desperate to produce for his new team as they attempt to end their current six-game losing streak.