Tonight is the only game between these teams this season. The Wings won the 2003-2004 season 1-0 with a 4-3 win at home on February 29th, 2004. Robert Lang, making his debut with Detroit, notched three assists and Brendan Shanahan scored his first goal in nine games.
The Wings will look to stop a two-game skid from becoming a three-game one tonight. They are 2-3-0 so far in January, the toughest month they've had so far and the most important. A loss to Minnesota
opened the month but was followed with two masterful wins, one over St. Louis
and another over Nashville
the next night. Then, they collapsed, first by blowing a three-goal lead against Dallas
and giving up six straight unanswered goals. Their last game was in Carolina, where they allowed three more goals before finally scoring themselves late in the first period. Despite a furious last minute comeback attempt, they still lost, 3-2
The league-leading Flyers will wrap up an 11-game road trip tonight that has spanned 21 days (though they never left the Eastern Time Zone). They are 8-1-1 in the first ten games of that trip. They were shut out 3-0 by New Jersey on Monday but rebounded with a 5-2 win over Chicago Wednesday. According to Red Wings scout Mark Howe, they have the best depth of any team in the league and with a 28-9-6 record, it appears they have made good use of it. That depth includes two faces familiar to Wings fans: Peter Forsberg and Derian Hatcher. Forsberg, an old enemy, has continued his dominating ways, notching 42 assists on the way to 56 points so far this season. Hatcher, who was bought out by the Wings last year, is plus-14 and playing an average of 24:20 a night. It's a shame Derian's knee injury precluded him from really contributing while he was in Detroit but it's good to hear he's found success again.
Manny Legace will start again tonight.
Tonight may be the night we see Shanahan break out of his slump, much like he did against the Flyers in 2004. According the Babcock, he played his best game in 7 against the Hurricanes.
points out, the Wings are an impressive 14-0-2 against the Flyers at home since 1988. Tonight is a great time to get win #15, I think. Especially because I'm going to the game, having been given a couple tickets by a friend of mine. So, I'm hoping for a fast start and a full 60 minutes of solid play by the Wings. If the Wings do that, it should be a good game. Give the league leaders a fight, at least!