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Gameday Updates: Red Wings at Penguins

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Franzen says, "Get out of our way, we have a playoff spot to clinch."
Franzen says, "Get out of our way, we have a playoff spot to clinch."
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We're going to keep saying it until we either have it or until we back our way into the playoffs: one more point secures another postseason for the Detroit Red Wings. Can they get it done tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins?

Red Wings

  • The Red Wings had an optional morning skate today, with only the goalies, Todd Bertuzzi, and Joakim Andersson taking part.
  • Joakim Andersson is apparently a game-time decision, by which I mean Joker is going to be in the pre-game warm up and possibly take the place of someone else who hasn't been identified yet (except that it's not Pavel Datsyuk). So mystery injury person is the actual game-time decision.
  • So it turns out we will see Jonas Gustavsson for likely the final time this season as he gets the start tonight against Pittsburgh. Here's a tweet that'll inspire some confidence for you.

Penguins

  • Big news out of Pittsburgh is that Kris Letang makes his return to the Penguins lineup 10 weeks after suffering a stroke.
  • You all remember Tomas Vokoun? The Penguins have assigned him to their minor league affiliate Wilkes-Barre/Scranton on a conditioning assignment after a blood clot scare in September.
  • Marc-Andre Fleury is the confirmed starter for the Penguins tonight.
  • The projected lineup for the Pittsburgh "You have an injury problem? That's cute" Penguins:

    FORWARDS

    Chris "chemistry with Crosby" Kunitz
    Sidney "glad I don't have to face Zetterberg" Crosby
    Beau "why isn' this name just Bo?" Bennett
    Brian "give ones? what is he gonna use those bills for?" Gibbons
    Jussi "not dry" Jokinen
    James "get out of here" Neal
    Tanner "apply directly to the forehead" Glass
    Brandon "there's only one of him now" Sutter
    Lee "everyone's favorite deadline acquisition" Stempniak
    Taylor "in the face" Pyatt
    Craig "C4" Adams
    Adam "who?" Payerl

    DEFENSE

    Matt "for Goligoski hahaha Dallas" Niskanen
    Olli "I'm only putting the umlauts in because I can" Määttä
    Kris "welcome back" Letang
    Rob "the piece" Scuderi
    Brooks "GRIT. TOUGHNESS. GRRR" Orpik
    Paul "former Devil" Martin

    GOALTENDING

    Marc-Andre "we're worried about Gustavsson? they have this guy in net!" Fleury
    Jeff Zatkoff

Out of Town Scoreboard

Columbus Blue Jackets at Dallas Stars: Well, we got a heaping helping of mathematical eliminations last night with both Ontario teams getting the boot.* One more point secures the Red Wings' playoff berth, but there's still the pesky situation of which wild card spot they get. Beat Pittsburgh tonight, and we don't need to care about another inter-conference game involving the Blue Jackets. One more thing to note about this game: as it is the makeup game from the Rich Peverley incident, the NHL decided to play the full 60 minutes but with Columbus having a 1-0 lead to start with. S/t to Kyle for tweeting it out and making me remember.

It's a really simple formula tonight. Win and you're in. Lose, and . . . let's not think about that right now. The Red Wings have a fantastic opportunity in front of them, and it's up to them to seize it. I have to ask though: wouldn't it just cap off this particular regular season so well that they clinch a playoff spot with an overtime/ shootout loss?

LET'S GO RED WINGS!!!

*Yes, it took until last night before Ottawa was mathematically eliminated from playoff contention.