Flyers-Red Wings Preview

The Associated Press

Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock has decided to tinker with his lineup as his team tries to avoid a third straight loss.

It should help that the banged-up Philadelphia Flyers are coming to town.

The Red Wings will host a Flyers team that is already having trouble scoring and won't have forwards Scott Hartnell and Vinny Lecavalier in Saturday night's matchup.

Detroit (2-2-0) fell 4-2 at home to Phoenix on Thursday, and Babcock opted to make changes a day later.

He was upset by lackadaisical defending by the Red Wings, who were outshot 38-30.

"We felt we gave up 21 scoring chances in the game," Babcock told the Red Wings' official website. "In a normal game for us it's between eight and 12. Don't get me wrong, we had a ton of chances ourselves, an absolute ton."

The coach moved Todd Bertuzzi to the top line and shifted Justin Abdelkader to the second line with center Stephen Weiss and Johan Franzen. Veteran newcomer Daniel Alfredsson moved to the third line.

Babcock has credited Abdelkader's play with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk, but wants the winger to have an impact elsewhere.

"It can be good," Abdelkader said. "Hopefully we can get playing here, get everyone going. Sometimes it's good to change things up."

The Flyers (1-4-0) fell to 1-1-0 in two games under coach Craig Berube with Friday's 2-1 home defeat to Phoenix. The news got worse when Hartnell and Lecavalier left with undisclosed injuries that could cause both to miss a week.

"Well it's tougher, but it doesn't matter does it?" Berube asked. "I mean, we've got to win hockey games. People will come in and fill in for them."

Max Talbot scored his first goal, giving Philadelphia six on the season. Captain Claude Giroux remains without a goal or an assist.

"We need to score more goals and I think the boys can feel that it is going to come," said Steve Mason, who made 29 saves in his fourth start. "We just have to keep working for it."

Mason has faced Detroit more than any team, going 8-10-2 with a 2.84 goals-against average in 20 regular-season starts. If Ray Emery gets the call, he has posted a 1.67 GAA in winning all three career starts against the Red Wings.

Jimmy Howard has a 2.49 GAA while starting every game this season and is expected to be in goal again for Detroit even though backup Jonas Gustavsson has been activated from injured reserve.

The Red Wings will debut center Luke Glendening, a Michigan native who was recalled Friday from Grand Rapids. He will join a fourth line with Jordin Tootoo and Drew Miller.

"He's a right-hand shot, ideally he'll learn to win faceoffs at our level, he'll learn to be a good penalty killer," Babcock said.

Tootoo will make his season debut after being out with a sprained left shoulder.

Detroit is the only team in the NHL without a power-play goal, going 0 for 10.

The last five meetings between these teams have been decided by one goal, with Philadelphia winning three of them.