Series 5 Preview: Struggling Red Wings visit Panthers


BACKGROUND

The Detroit Red Wings (2-8-2) look to snap their 8 game losing streak as they visit the hot Florida Panthers (6-0-2). The Panthers are hoping to extend their point streak.

These games will be games 3 and 4 between the teams. Last weekend, the Red Wings gave the Panthers a run for their money in back to back games, but the Cats held on for 3-2 victories, one in OT and one in regulation. Aleksi Heponiemi (OT) and Carter Verehaege scored the game winners. Bobrovsky and Driedger both put up solid efforts in their respective starts.

DETROIT

The Red Wings lost to the Lightning twice this past week. The Wings have not won a game in over 400 days without Goaltender Jonathan Bernier between the pipes. Bernier (4 GP, 2-1-0, 3.54 GAA, .881 SVPCT) is injured but is making a recovery. However expect Thomas Greiss (9 GP, 0-7-2, 3.27 GAA, .892 SVPCT) to start game 1.

Dylan Larkin leads the team with 9 points. Tyler Bertuzzi leads them with 5 goals. Filip Hronek leads the team with 6 assists.

My player to watch for them is Anthony Mantha (4 G, 3 A, 7 PTS). Mantha is a power forward who is a great scorer and can cause the Panthers serious headaches.

The Wings have been hampered by injuries, but they have got several players back. However, they are still missing Tyler Bertuzzi and Bernier, both crucial parts of the lineup.

Projected Lineup- Detroit

11 Filip Zadina- 71 Dylan Larkin- 48 Givani Smith

39 Anthony Mantha- 14 Robby Fabbri- 54 Bobby Ryan

81 Frans Nielsen- 92 Vladislav Namestinkov- 89 Sam Gagner

43 Darren Helm- 41 Luke Glendening- 73 Adam Erne

44 Christian Djoos- 17 Filip Hronek

18 Marc Staal- 70 Troy Stecher

22 Patrik Nemeth- 24 Jon Merrill

29 Thomas Greiss

31 Calvin Pickard

Scratched: F Valteri Filppula, F Mathias Brome, D Danny DeKeyser

Injured: F Tyler Bertuzzi, G Jonathan Bernier

FLORIDA

Chris Driedger (4 GP, 3-0-1, 1.72 GAA, .942 SVPCT) gets the start in net, as a goaltending controversy brews in Florida. Sergei Bobrovsky (4 GP, 3-0-1, 3.57 GAA, .881 SVPCT) has struggled and the Panthers will ride the hot hand.

Mason Marchment also makes his Panthers debut. The 25 year old was acquired in the Denis Malgin trade and was recalled from the taxi squad. Marchment put up 1 assist in his 4 career NHL Games for the Leafs last year. Marchment should slide in for Vinnie Hinostroza.

Eetu Luostarinen is expected to stay on the second line after a in-game promotion Friday.

Jonathan Huberdeau leads the team with 12 points. Carter Verehaege leads the team with 6 goals. and Huberdeau’s 8 assists lead the team in that category.

My player to watch is Huberdeau. Huberdeau had a great game last Thursday with 5 points and his first career hat trick.

Projected Lineup-Panthers

23 Carter Verehaege- 16 Sasha Barkov- 91 Anthony Duclair

11 Jonathan Huberdeau- 27 Eetu Luostarinen- 70 Patric Hornqvist

77 Frank Vatrano- 21 Alex Wennberg- 74 Owen Tippett

19 Mason Marchment- 83 Juho Lammikko- 55 Noel Acciari

52 Mackenzie Weegar- 5 Aaron Ekblad

65 Markus Nutivaara- 6 Anton Stralman

3 Keith Yandle- 7 Radko Gudas

60 Chris Driedger

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

Scratched: F Brett Connolly, F Vinnie Hinostroza, D Noah Juulsen

Injured: D Gustav Forsling

Prediction

I am currently 6-2 in game predictions with no GWG or no correct score predictions. My predictions for these games:

Sunday Feb 7 Florida beats Detroit 3-2 GWG: Hornqvist

Tuesday Feb 9 Detroit beats Florida 3-2 GWG: Larkin

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