(Photo by Scott Levy/Getty Images)
Tonight, the Wings will host Original Six rival, New York Rangers, for the first time as members of the same conference on Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by Van Andel Institute's Purple Community.
Detroit will have a different look tonight, as coach Mike Babcock broke up the pairing of Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk in hopes of generating more offense against the Rangers. Datsyuk will play on a line with Daniel Alfredsson and Todd Bertuzzi, Zetterberg will center a line with Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar.
“It’s not going. I told them and you guys I wasn’t going to split them up and 11 games in I’m splitting them up,” Babcock told the media. “It wasn’t my plan and not necessarily what I wanted to do, but we need to.”
Datsyuk and Zetterberg have accounted for 11 of-Detroit's 25 goals. The hope is that splitting the two will generate more balanced scoring and keep opponents from focusing on stopping one line.
"I think Babs was pretty up front about it, we will be playing together until he needs to switch it up and now it’s time,” Zetterberg told the media after practice. I’m pretty sure we’ll play together here at some point in time, but when we’ve been losing games like we have, haven't been scoring much, we have to try something different."
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You can watch tonight's 7:00 PM matchup on NHL-Network or Fox Sports Detroit, or listen in on 97.1 The Ticket.