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Notes: Wings look to avoid penalties against high-powered Panthers

Bobrovsky returns to net after missing two games

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

DETROIT -- As much as the Red Wings had their hands full with Pittsburgh's power play Friday night, the task is perhaps even more daunting with Florida's power play.

The Penguins are ranked 14th at 20.3 percent while the Panthers are ranked fifth at 24.3 percent.

Jonathan Huberdeau leads the way with 19 power-play assists among his 22 points. Keith Yandle is second with 16 power-play assists among 18 points and Aleksander Barkov has 10 power-play assists among 16 points.

Evgenii Dadonov leads the Panthers in power-play goals with nine and Mike Hoffman is second with seven.

"They got a really good power play," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said before the game. "Their top players are really good power-play players. I got a chance to see Dadonov before he came over here in the world championships in that bumper spot and I was wowed by him then and I'm wowed by him now. I don't want to say he's the best bumper in the league because that's taking away from some of the other guys but he's right up there with the best players in the league. He finds open space and draws people to you.

"Huberdeau's a great passer, obviously Barkov, they've got lots of weapons on it. It starts by having a good kill but probably before that is making sure you don't take many penalties."

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: Coach Blashill ahead of the game. #FLAvsDET #LGRW

The Penguins scored both of their goals with the man-advantage Friday night and the Wings are last in the league on the penalty kill at 15.2 percent.

The Panthers, who did not play Friday night, scored twice on the power play in a 4-3 home victory over the Los Angeles Kings Thursday.

Dadonov and Mike Matheson scored those power-play goals.

Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky will start for the first time after missing two games with a lower-body injury.

"They didn't play," Blashill said. "We didn't travel and get in at four in the morning. In the end, we should be battle tested when the puck drops tonight. That's where I look at it to be an advantage for us. We kept our guys at home today so they didn't have to fight through the snow to get here, so hopefully they're fresh and ready to go."

The Wings are expected to start Calvin Pickard on the second half of the back-to-back set.

Pickard has played three games against the Panthers, going 2-1-0 with a 2.62 goals-against average and .909 save percentage.

Tweet from @DetroitRedWings: #DRWSalute | #LGRW

GREEN'S SEASON: Defenseman Mike Green has been limited the last two seasons because of both illness and injury.

Last season, Green played in only 43 games, recording five goals among 26 points.

This season, Green has two goals and six assists in 39 games.

"I think Mike's had, like our team, he's had ups and downs," Blashill said. "He's had stretches where he's played real good and he's had games where he's played real good. Mike's real hard on himself. He comes and he works his tail off every day. He's a good leader and a good model that way. Sometimes when he makes mistakes in a game, he gets really, really hard on himself and he struggles for a little bit. That's something we've talked about. I think he's taken the losses hard.

"But I think as of late, he's had more good moments than not good moments. He's played a solid game. But like everybody else, we need everybody to be a little better."

In 52 career games against Florida, Green has six goals and 17 assists.

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