Monday, November 28, 2005

GameDay: @ LA (16-7-1, 33 Pts) 10:30 ET

Tonight is the third of four games between these two teams this season. The Wings won both of the previous two games, 5-2 on October 13 in LA and 5-4 in OT on November 9 at home. Tonight is the final game in November for Detroit and will cap off a less-than-stellar month in which their record to this point has been 6-5-2 (after a 11-1-0 run in October). They are 2-1-0 in their last three games, with wins over Colorado and San Jose and a loss to Anaheim in between. The win over the Avs ended a four-game skid that was interrupted by the cancellation of the Predators game just one week ago because of Jiri Fischer's seizure. This game will wrap up a three-game California trip for the Wings, who start December at home against Calgary before playing a run of Eastern Conference opponents at home and on the road until mid-month. The Kings have had a much better month, skating to a 8-3-1 record to this point in November. Since losing to the Wings on the 9th, they have lost just twice (both times to Nashville) and have won six. They too are 2-1 in their last three games, with one loss to the Predators sandwiched between wins over St. Louis and Chicago. Tonight's game will nearly wrap up a five-game series against Central Division teams. They will finish November on Wednesday in Chicago before heading out East to play a tough series against Northeast Division teams. Because Manny Legace is on the IR for about a week with a sprained knee, Chris Osgood could start tonight for the Wings. However, the papers indicate that Babcock may start Jimmy Howard instead. It looks like Yzerman's role isn't being reduced by anyone but himself. He asked to have the night off on Saturday, citing a sore knee and his age as reasons for needing a rest. (News, mLive) I didn't catch the game Saturday but it sounds like the Wings will have to be better defensively if they want to win tonight in LA. If they can put up that sort of offensive production and play tight defensively, they should have no problem beating the Kings. That's a big "if" at this point, though. They at least owe Howard, if he starts, a decent show of support. A win tonight would go a long way in making up for their stinker of a road trip to Western Canada earlier in the month.


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