Game 76 Preview: Home and Home With the Wings

Columbus Blue Jackets at Detroit Red Wings

March 26, 2012 - 7:30pm EDT
Joe Louis Arena - Detroit, Michigan
Radio - WBNS FM 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponents Blog: Winging It In Motown

First and foremost, my apologies for the lateness of this preview; work was crazy today!

At any rate, the Jackets are fresh off of locking up the overall top spot in the upcoming draft lottery, meaning they have far and away the best chance to land the #1 overall pick. It also means they've clinched the worst record in the league. As if we didn't know that was coming...

Their reward? A home-and-home series with the Red Wings. However, these are not your slightly-older-brother's Red Wings. I wrote in our season preview way back when that the top spot in the Central was Detroit's until someone took it from them. Well, don't look now, but two teams are currently ahead of Detroit in the division. The Wings are 2-6-2 in their last 10 games, and are sitting in fifth place in the Western Conference; perhaps slightly unfamiliar territory for them.

Part of that is due to injuries, as they've been missing Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Lidstrom, and Johan Franzen a lot of late. The two former are back tonight, but the latter is still out. Expect the Wings to be pushing hard tonight to get every point possible.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(24-44-7, 55 Points; 5th division, 15th conference)

Vinny Prospal Mark Letestu Rick Nash
R.J. Umberger Derick Brassard Cam Atkinson
Ryan Russell Ryan Johansen Derek Dorsett
Colton Gillies Darryl Boyce Jared Boll
Jack Johnson David Savard
Brett Lebda Nikita Nikitin
John Moore Aaron Johnson
Steve Mason
Curtis Sanford

Detroit Red Wings
(45-25-5, 95 Points; 3rd Division, 5th Conference)

Valtteri Filppula Henrik Zetterberg Jiri Hudler
Gustav Nyquist Pavel Datsyuk Todd Bertuzzi
Andrew Miller Justin Abdelkader Danny Cleary
Tomas Holmstrom Cory Emmerton Jan Mursak
Nicklas Lidstrom Ian White
Niklas Kronwall Brad Stuart
Kyle Quincey Jakub Kindl
Ty Conklin
Jimmy Howard

Season Series

10/21/11 - Columbus 2 at Detroit 5 - RECAP
10/25/11 - Detroit 1 at Columbus 4 - RECAP
01/21/12 - Columbus 2 at Detroit 3 (SO) - RECAP
02/28/12 - Detroit 5 at Columbus 2 - RECAP
03/26/12 - Columbus at Detroit
03/28/12 - Detroit at Columbus

Head to Head

Detroit Columbus
2.97 (4) GPG 2.28 (28)
2.44 (6) GAPG 3.17 (29)
15.6% (22) PP% 15.1% (25)
79.9% (22) PK% 76.4% (30)
Johan Franzen, 26 G leader Rick Nash, 26
Pavel Datsyuk, 43 A leader Vinny Prospal, 34
Henrik Zetterberg/Valtteri Filppula, 62 Pts leader Rick Nash, 50
Todd Bertuzzi, 62 PIM leader Derek Dorsett, 198
29-5-2 Home/Road 10-23-4
3/24 vs. Carolina, W 5-4 Last Game 3/25 vs. Edmonton, L 6-3
2-6-2 Last 10 4-6-0

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