|One guy is out tonight, and one guy is questionable, but you've still gotta love this photo.
It's usually a heck of a night when the Red Wings are in this building, but these aren't quite the Red Wings we're used to.
Detroit will be without two of their legends -- defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom and center Pavel Datsyuk -- when they revisit Honda Center to face the Ducks tonight. The 41-year-old Lidstrom is set to miss his eighth straight game (he's never missed more than seven in a row) because of a deep bone bruise in his ankle. Datsyuk has been out since mid-February after having knee surgery, but could be back by this weekend. Meanwhile, Todd Bertuzzi has been out with a sore groin but says he's returning tonight to face his old team.
(Here's something weird I learned today: I checked to see when Datsyuk won the Hart Trophy, and he never has. I was certain he won at least one. Did you know that since 1963 only one Red Wing has won the Hart? Sergei Fedorov in 1994. Crazy.)
Detroit had also been without goalie Jimmy Howard (groin injury) for three games, but got him back last night in LA, where the Wings suffered a 5-2 loss to the Kings.
The Ducks, of course, aren't feeling sorry for the Wings in the least, especially because both Corey Perry
and Luca Sbisa
are questionable to return from injuries tonight. Perry snapped a 272-game streak when he sat out the overtime loss in Colorado with shoulder soreness. Sbisa missed his first game of the season with back spasms that flared up after he took a shot in the morning skate in Colorado. "I felt like someone stabbed me through the muscle into the lung,” he said.
Both are gametime decisions, though Bruce Boudreau indicated this morning that Sbisa is more likely to be in the lineup than Perry. “I just don’t know whether they’ll play or not," he said. "We’ll see by game time. They’re both being worked on. It’s the proverbial gametime decision.”
With or without them, the Ducks are seeking their first win of the season against the Red Wings -- or at least the 20 guys in the Red Wings jerseys tonight. One of the few stumbles on that successful eight-game trip the Ducks slogged through last month was the 2-1 shootout loss at Joe Louis Arena that led it off.
Joey MacDonald beat the Ducks that night, only giving up one George Parros
goal, and he'll be back in there tonight. Anaheim actually had MacDonald in their system after trading a seventh-round pick to Toronto for him in 2010, but he never played a game for the Ducks. In net tonight for Anaheim will be ... okay, you know that already.
The Ducks, of course, are looking to snap a three-game losing streak that put a serious damper on their playoff hopes. Boudreau said yesterday that his team pretty much has to win all of the final 12 games to have any hopes for the postseason.
"Either that," he said, "or a lot of teams have to forfeit some games."
But, he added, "Until I look and do the math and we're six points out with two games to go or things like that, we're going to fight and see where it leads."