Detroit Red Wings (40-24-13) at Minnesota Wild (44-26-7)
|Date & Time||Saturday April 4, 2015, 7:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Minnesota Wild / Detroit Red Wings --- Over/Under:
Injuries have been crippling the Detroit Red Wings of late, and now they find themselves in jeopardy of falling into a wild card position in the Eastern Conference.
Pavel Datsyuk missed Thursday night’s game against the Boston Bruins, but Datsyuk is scheduled to return to the lineup on Saturday in Minnesota. Tomas Jurco and Erik Cole also missed Thursday night’s match. Riley Sheahan returned to the lineup after missing three games.
Despite playing with a jumbled lineup the Red Wings found themselves in position to pick up two very valuable points over a Boston club that is right on their heels. Luke Glendening picked up his 12th goal of the season midway through the second period to put the Red Wings on the board. Early in the second period the Red Wings doubled their lead on Stephen Weiss’ power play goal.
Instead of cruising to a victory the Red Wings collapsed. Boston got on the board just over two minutes after Detroit took a 2-0 lead, and tied the game two minutes after that. With just over two minutes remaining in regulation the Bruins would complete the comeback and send Detroit to a 3-2 defeat.
Petr Mrazek stopped 22 shots and was solid until the final 20 minutes. Jimmy Howard is expected to be back in the crease for Detroit on Saturday against the Wild.
Minnesota is in a similar position to the Red Wings in that they haven’t locked up a playoff berth yet but it seems inevitable at this point. The Wild have been excellent since Devan Dubnyk took over in goal and right now it’s about playing their best hockey as they head into the post season.
Thursday night the Wild hosted the New York Rangers and really felt the effects of a layoff after not having played in a few days. Minnesota looked slow and lethargic in the first period and found themselves trailing 2-0 after the opening frame.
In the second period the Wild were a little better and got to within a goal on Jason Pominville’s 17th of the season. The score remained tied until early in the third period when Thomas Vanek banged a rebound home passed Henrik Lundqvist to tie the game at 2-2.
It looked like Minnesota had all the momentum in this one but the Rangers were able to answer right back. J.T. Miller deflected a point shot from Ryan McDonagh just 55 seconds after the Wild have evened the score.
Dubnyk stopped 23 shots on the night. Two of the goals that beat Dubnyk were deflected and the third was with New York on the power play and one that he would like to have back.
Detroit really needs to get healthy heading into the post season but they don’t have a lot of margin for error over the last week. If the Red Wings falter too much they could find themselves in an extremely unfavorable first round match up. Minnesota should bounce back on home ice in this one.