Dylan Larkin will be a game-time decision tonight as the Detroit Red Wings play host to the Winnipeg Jets.
The 25-year-old Red Wings captain suffered an upper-body injury against the Anaheim Ducks on Jan. 9, causing him to miss Tuesday’s 3–2 overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks.
Larkin participated in the Red Wings’ morning skate on Thursday. He has 16 goals and a team-leading 32 points in 32 games with the Red Wings this season.
The Red Wings will need all the help they can get as they try to rebound after a winless three-game road trip in California. Detroit still managed to pick up a pair of points in overtime losses but fell to 16–16–5 on the season after the road swing.
The Jets’ playoff hopes are a little stronger, with the path toward a wild card spot more navigable than in the Eastern Conference. Winnipeg’s 16–12–5 record and .561 points percentage currently rank 10th in the West, slightly ahead of the Edmonton Oilers.
Jets defensemen Declan Chisholm and Dylan Samberg are both expected to make their NHL debuts in tonight’s game.
The Red Wings
With Larkin still a game-time decision, the Red Wings could return to these lines against Winnipeg:
Tyler Bertuzzi – Robby Fabbri – Lucas Raymond
Givani Smith – Pius Suter – Filip Zadina
Vladislav Namestnikov – Michael Rasmussen – Adam Erne
Sam Gagner – Joe Veleno – Riley Barber
Jordan Oesterle – Moritz Seider
Nick Leddy – Filip Hronek
Marc Staal – Gustav Lindstrom
Projected starter: Alex Nedeljkovic (10–9–4, .915 SV%).
Here’s Winnipeg’s projected lineup for Thursday’s game:
Kyle Connor – Pierre-Luc Dubois – Cole Perfetti
Andrew Copp – Mark Scheifele – Jansen Harkins
Dominic Toninato – Adam Lowry – Evgeny Svechnikov
Kristian Vesalainen – C.J. Suess – Austin Poganski
Josh Morrissey – Dylan DeMelo
Dylan Samberg – Neal Pionk
Declan Chisholm – Nate Schmidt
Projected starter: Connor Hellebuyck (13–10–4, .913 SV%)
Detroit: Dylan Larkin (16 goals, 32 points); Lucas Raymond (10 goals, 30 points); Tyler Bertuzzi (17 goals, 28 points); Moritz Seider (three goals, 24 points); Filip Hronek (four goals, 19 points).
Winnipeg: Kyle Connor (19 goals, 35 points); Pierre-Luc Dubois (15 goals, 26 points); Nikolaj Ehlers (13 goals, 25 points); Mark Scheifele (nine goals, 23 points); Andrew Copp (eight goals, 22 points).
Players to watch
Detroit: Where does Filip Zadina‘s future lie? The 22-year-old winger is in the midst of yet another underwhelming season, with zero points in his last seven games and no goals since Nov. 30. Zadina will become a restricted free agent this summer; it remains to be seen whether he’ll sign his next contract with the Red Wings or another NHL club.
Winnipeg: Talk about a plum assignment for Cole Perfetti, who has started his NHL career alongside Kyle Connor and Pierre-Luc Dubois on the Jets’ top line. The 2020 first-round pick will play his fourth NHL contest tonight and is still searching for the first point of his career.
Viewing and listening options
Thursday’s game in Detroit will be broadcast on Bally Sports Detroit starting at 7:30 p.m. ET. It’ll be sent over the airwaves on WXYT-FM 97.1 “The Ticket” in the Detroit area, as well as on the Red Wings’ official website.
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