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Preview: Red Wings at Maple Leafs

Detroit, Toronto set for Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

RED WINGS (16-16-4) at MAPLE LEAFS (16-12-7)

3 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports

 

Red Wings team scope

The Detroit Red Wings enter the Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Exhibition Stadium in Toronto on Sunday with a 2-0-1 record in outdoor games. The Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 6-4 in the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field in Chicago; lost 3-2 in overtime against the Maple Leafs in the 2014 NHL Winter Classic at Ann Arbor Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan; and defeated the Colorado Avalanche 5-3 in an NHL Stadium Series game at Coors Field in Denver last Feb. 27. Defenseman Brendan Smith has played in two outdoor games at the NHL level and another during his NCAA career in 2010 at Camp Randall Stadium, when he was with the University of Wisconsin Badgers. "They're always really exciting; it's just like bringing back childhood memories so it's always a lot of fun," Smith said. "You have to play a little bit more simply because you can't do all the fantastic things that you'd want to do. They only person I've ever seen who didn't have to change their game when they were outside was Pavel Datsyuk, he was amazing. Other than that, you really have to change your game and simplify it to have success." The Red Wings are trying to build off a 3-2 overtime win against the Ottawa Senators on Thursday. In their past nine games, Detroit is 3-5-1. Coach Jeff Blashill did not confirm his starting goaltender after the Red Wings practiced on Saturday. Detroit spent a good portion of the session focusing on the power play; the Red Wings have not scored a power-play goal on the road since a 2-1 win at the New York Rangers on Oct. 19.

 

Maple Leafs team scope

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews will get his first experience playing outdoors on Sunday, having grown up in Scottsdale, Arizona. "Not too many, I've got a couple memories of just skating around but never playing in an actual game like this," Matthews said Saturday. "It's exciting to be out there and skate on the ice today and get used to it. Tomorrow come game time, it will definitely be pretty fun." The Maple Leafs will try to extend their season-high win streak to five games. Toronto has been efficient defensively during its winning streak, allowing five goals in four games. "I think we are definitely getting more structured and I think everybody is paying more of a price to win, too," goaltender Frederik Andersen said. "People are paying the price to be in the shooting lanes and clearing out loose change in front of the net. Though the Maple Leafs and Red Wings met at the 2014 Bridgestone Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan, five players who dressed for the Maple Leafs in that game - forwards Nazem Kadri, James van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak and defensemen Morgan Rielly and Jake Gardiner - are still with Toronto. Van Riemsdyk and Bozak each played significant roles in the Maple Leafs' 3-2 shootout win; each scored in regulation before Bozak scored the winning goal in the shootout.

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Anthony Mantha

Gustav Nyquist -- Frans Nielsen -- Thomas Vanek

Tomas Jurco -- Dylan Larkin -- Luke Glendening

Drew Miller -- Andreas Athanasiou -- Steve Ott

Danny DeKeyser -- Xavier Ouellet

Niklas Kronwall -- Brendan Smith

Jonathan Ericsson -- Nick Jensen

Petr Mrazek

Jared Coreau

Scratched: Ryan Sproul
Injured: Johan Franzen (concussion), Joe Vitale (concussion), Justin Abdelkader (MCL sprain), Tyler Bertuzzi (left ankle sprain), Darren Helm (shoulder), Alexey Marchenko (shoulder), Mike Green (upper body), Jimmy Howard (MCL sprain), Riley Sheahan (upper body)

 

Maple Leafs projected lineup

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- William Nylander

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Connor Brown

Matt Martin -- Frederik Gauthier -- Nikita Soshnikov

Morgan Rielly -- Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner -- Connor Carrick

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Antoine Bibeau

Scratched: Frank Corrado, Josh Leivo, Byron Froese
Injured: Ben Smith (upper body), Martin Marincin (lower body)

 

Status Report

Sheahan will be a game-time decision, according to Blashill. … Green, Marchenko and Abdelkader practiced Saturday but will not be available. Tatar will be playing in his 300th NHL game.

 

Who's hot

Mantha, who scored in overtime against the Senators on Thursday, has six points (three goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak. … Zetterberg has five points (one goal, four assists) in a five-game point streak. … Matthews has seven points (four goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak. … Nylander has four points (two goals, two assists) in a four-game point streak.

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