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Flyers vs. Red Wings preview: In which everybody in Detroit is injured

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The entire Red Wings top line is out tonight. So .... win?

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

blah blah blah this is the part where we write about how the Flyers have one once at Joe Louis Arena since the 1980s, which is likely the lede of every game preview you'll read today.

More importantly, the Red Wings are hurting pretty badly right now. Their entire top line will be out tonight. Henrik Zetterberg is out at least two weeks with a herniated disc in his back, and Pavel Datsyuk has a concussion. Todd Bertuzzi has a minor injury but isn't expected to play this evening either. So, you'd think this game would be winnable.

Philadelphia Flyers (12-13-2, 26 pts) at Detroit Red WIngs (14-7-7, 35 pts)
8 p.m. | Joe Louis Arena | Detroit, Michigan
In Philly: 97.5 FM | National TV: NBCSN
Get the Detroit perspective at Winging It In Motown

This is the second of three meetings with Detroit this season, and the final meeting in the Motor City. Think back to the first meeting on Oct. 12, where the Flyers lost 5-2 but actually strongly outplayed the Red Wings at even strength. They lost the game due to penalties, and that's a department that hopefully the Flyers can clean up tonight.

The only Red Wings forwards who were positive in terms of shot differential that night against the Flyers were the three who will be out this evening -- Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Bertuzzi. Datsyuk and Zetterberg had three points each that night, so (obvious alert) their absence should help quite a bit. Then again, Detroit has won their last four, so it's not like the injuries are really getting to them.

The Flyers will likely be without Vincent Lecavalier again, so we're looking at a lineup similar to what we saw Monday in Minnesota. Steve Mason will get the start, Jimmy Howard will go for the Wings.

Philly can move into fourth place in the Metropolitan with a win, depending on what happens in the Montreal-New Jersey game this evening. They could tie the Rangers in points with 28 but can't pass them via tiebreaker this evening. But hey, right there in the playoff mix if they get two points tonight.

The game is on NBCSN nationally, so get ready for that mentally. Also, it's their Wednesday Night Rivalry game, so ger ready for the 1997 Cup Finals clips. Sigh. In better news, HBO's 24/7 cameras are rolling for the Red Wings, so a win could be pretty fun. It's an 8 p.m. start. Go Flyers.