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Kings-Red Wings Preview

Since we last met the Detroit Red Wings...

IN: Ian White, Mike "No 64" Commodore, Garnet Exelby, Chris Conner, Ty Conklin

OUT: Brian Rafalski, Kris Draper, Derek Meech, Chris Osgood, Mike Modano

In memoriam: Ruslan Salei

Injured: Jan Mursak (ankle). Ian White shattered a cheekbone while blocking a shot, so Ericsson became Lidstrom's new partner. Todd Bertuzzi (dizziness) is set to return today and play on the top line.

Possible lineup:

Franzen-Datsyuk-Bertuzzi
Filppula-Zetterberg-Cleary
Hudler-Helm-Abdelkader
Miller-Emmerton-Holmstrom

Lidstrom-Ericsson
Kronwall-Smith
Kindl-Stuart

In net: Jimmy Howard makes this an all US goalie matchup.

Kings lineup: Same roster as the last game.

Game Outlook: When Detroit dropped their second straight game in a row, Mike Babcock held a team meeting and rattled their cages:

"Do we want to be a real good team or not?'' Babcock said. "Life just doesn't go on for you. You make a decision that it's going to go good for you. You decide for yourself that you're going to be successful. You decide for yourself that you're going to make a difference. You decide for yourself that you're going to have a good career."

Those are some stern words from Mr. Death-stare. Despite the streaky record and the hand-wringing, the Red Wings remain a talented, dangerous team that excels at controlling the play; now they'll be desperate to prevent a downward spiral.

Can the Kings hang tough, and make this a statement game of their own? The quarter pole is almost here. Time for report cards and "Please keep me, Dean" performances.