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.
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.