The Detroit Red Wings are on the road again, but this time for only one game as they head to Minnesota to take on the Wild. Tonight is the second half of their back-to-back. The Red Wings dropped a tough one last night to the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 1-0.
The Wings will be without their captain Dylan Larkin tonight, as he was injured last night after he took a shot to the hand. Let’s look at the projected lineup for tonight’s matchup.
The offensive lines heading into tonight are
David Perron-Andrew Copp-Lucas Raymond
Dominik Kubalik-Michael Rasmussen-Pius Suter
Adam Erne-Joe Veleno-Oskar Sundqvist
Jonatan Berggren-Austin Czarnik-Elmer Soderblom
Things may change before the puck drop, but it sounds like Andrew Copp will be the first-line center with Dylan Larkin out; he will be playing alongside David Perron and Lucas Raymond. It was reported earlier the Wings have called up Elmer Soderblom from Grand Rapids, and he will be back and playing on the fourth line alongside Jonatan Berggren and Austin Czarnik.
I don’t like the move of taking Joe Veleno off the fourth line, so hopefully, that will be a change before the puck drops. With Larkin out for what I would guess is an extended period, the Red Wings will need Lucas Raymond to take a big step forward, and they will also need veterans Andrew Copp, David Perron, and Dominik Kubalik to make big plays.
The defense will remain the same from last night’s game
Ben Chiarot-Moritz Seider
Jake Walman-Filip Hronek
Jordan Oesterle-Gustav Lindstrom
In Last night’s loss, Jake Walman led the defensive group in shots, he has been quietly having a decent season, and it is nice to see him shoot more playing alongside Filip Hronek, who, on his own, is having a great season.
Gustav Lindstrom did not register a shot on goal last night; he’s one player I’d like to see try to get a little more involved on the offensive side. He did, however, register three hits, leading the defense in that category last night. The Red Wings will need Ben Chiarot and Moritz Seider to step up big-time and try to generate some scoring chances.
Last night the Red Wings went 0/3 on the man advantage. After not scoring a power-play goal in the last two games the Red Wings' power play has dropped and now ranks 22nd in the league with a 20.8% scoring rate, scoring 21 goals on 101 opportunities. With Larkin now out, Andrew Copp looks like he will slide into his spot on the first unit.
The Red Wings again allowed a goal on the PK for the second consecutive game. They held the Hurricanes to one goal on two chances. The Red Wings have scored two shorthanded goals this season on the Penalty Kill, with Larkin and Suter scoring the goals. The PK unit ranks 16th in the league in killing the power play of their opponents, allowing only 17 goals out of the 80 opportunities for a percentage of 78.8%.
Derek LaLonde said all three goalies were an option tonight, but his decision to tend the net against the Wild will be Magnus Hellberg. Hellberg is making his first start of the season for the Red Wings. Hellberg is currently 1-0-0 on the season after playing in a game earlier in the season for the Ottawa Senators.
It has not been announced who will be his backup tonight. I’d imagine it be Alex Nedeljkovic just in case he is needed for duty and the Wings can give Ville Husso a night off to relax.
HOW TO WATCH/LISTEN – Detroit Red Wings vs. Minnesota Wild
Where: Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul, Minnesota
TV: TNT/Bally Sports
Radio 97.1 (Red Wings radio affiliates)
Last night's loss stings a bit, but it is a quick turnaround taking on the Wild. The Red Wings will avoid having to face Marc-Andre Fleury as the Wild will start Filip Gustavsson tonight, who the Red Wings beat 2-1 earlier this season at Little Cesar’s Arena on October 29th. The Wild are currently fourth in the Central Division and sit in the final playoff spot of the Western Conference.
The Red Wings, with the loss last night, dropped another point behind the Islanders in the final playoff spot and now sit three points out of the last playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. This matchup tonight will be a chance for the Red Wings to get things right and back in the race, but it might be tough without one of their leading scorers.