ESPN's Melrose: Red Wings will win tonight

The Detroit News
Barry Melrose

ESPN hockey analyst Barry Melrose said on SportsCenter on Tuesday that the Red Wings would prevail over the Lightning in Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena.

"I think Detroit wins," he said. "Believe it or not, I think they played better in Game 2 than in Game 1. Although they won Game 1, they had more many more offensive chances (in Game 2). Game 1 was just basic great goaltending by (Petr) Mrazek and timely scoring by Pavel Datsyuk, and in Game 2, everyone had chances. They were much more creative, much more hungry around the net. I think that was a good sign for the Red Wings.

Melrose said the return of Justin Abdelkader is "huge" for Detroit.

"(Henrik) Zetterberg has to be better, Datsyuk has to be better, (Justin) Abdelkader back is huge, (Niklas) Kronwall on defense -- that defense is under a lot of pressure with the Tampa Bay forwards," he said. "They've got to stay out of the penalty box. ... In Game 1, Mrazek was better than (Ben) Bishop and in Game 2 Bishop was way better than the Detroit goaltenders. So they have to be as good as Bishop to give the Red Wings a chance to win."