Florida at Detroit
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Saturday, December 7, 2013
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan
The Detroit Red Wings received some good news on the injury front as they prepare to host the Florida Panthers on Saturday in the opener of a home-and-home series. Pavel Datsyuk, who leads the Red Wings with 12 goals despite sitting out the last six games due to a concussion, will be back in the lineup Tuesday, when Detroit visits Florida in the rematch. The Red Wings improved to 5-1-0 without Datsyuk with Friday's 3-1 victory at the New Jersey Devils.
The Panthers erupted for their second-highest output of the season in Thursday's 5-2 victory over Winnipeg, matching the total number of goals they scored in losing their previous three games. Defenseman Dylan Olsen made his first NHL goal count, putting the Panthers ahead to stay in the finale of a five-game homestand. "It's awesome. It's your first NHL goal," Olsen said. "It was obviously exciting, but it's even better to get the win and get off that three-game losing streak."
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Florida, FSN Detroit
ABOUT THE PANTHERS (8-16-5): Olsen, along with Jimmy Hayes, was acquired in a trade with Chicago last month for forwards Kris Versteeg and Phillippe Lefebvre. Hayes had six goals in 43 career games with the Blackhawks but notched his second goal in nine contests for Florida in Thursday's victory. "They're good young guys. They're learning their trade," coach Peter Horachek said of Olsen and Hayes. "They both want to be pros. They want to be here."
ABOUT THE RED WINGS (15-8-7): No. 1 goaltender Jimmy Howard normally would be a lock to be in net Saturday after backup Jonas Gustavsson picked up the victory on Friday, but coach Mike Babcock said he'd decide on a starter on the flight back to Detroit. Gustavsson is not making it easy for Babcock, winning five consecutive starts and owning an 8-0-1 record. Conversely, Howard has struggled mightly over the last five weeks, registering only one victory in his last nine starts (1-4-4).
1. Red Wings F Johan Franzen has scored in three straight games and seven of his last 11.
2. Panthers F Scottie Upshall had two goals and four assists during a five-game point streak.
3. Red Wings F Tomas Tatar has three goals in the last two games.
PREDICTION: Red Wings 4, Panthers 2
Stats and Records