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Gameday Updates: Detroit Red Wings @ Minnesota Wild, Line Combinations, Key Matchups

NHL: Minnesota Wild at Detroit Red Wings Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

We don’t know the status of Thomas Vanek and probably won’t until gametime, so if he’s not good to go after having a Blue Jackets player fall on his ankle last night, expect either Tomas Jurco or Steve Ott to climb back into the lineup on the fourth line with a bit of juggling above to try and replace the team’s leading goalscorer.

Red Wings Expected Lineup

Gus Nyquist Henrik Zetterberg Anthony Mantha
Andreas Athanasiou Darren Helm Thomas Vanek
Tomas Tatar Frans Nielsen Dylan Larkin
Justin Abdelkader Luke Glendening Riley Sheahan
Danny DeKeyser Mike Green
Nick Jensen Brendan Smith
Ryan Sproul Xavier Ouellet
Petr Mrazek
Jared Coreau

Wild Expected Lineup

Nino Niederreiter Eric Staal Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker Mikko Koivu Mikael Granlund
Zach Parise Erik Haula Jason Pominville
Chris Stewart Tyler Graovac Jordan Schroeder
Ryan Suter Jared Spurgeon
Marco Scandella Mathew Dumba
Gustav Olofsson Christian Folin
Devan Dubnyk
Darcy Kuemper

Key Matchups

Detroit’s Youngsters vs. NHL Elite - The Red Wings are in the middle of a very tough stretch of games. Players like Ryan Sproul and Nick Jensen are facing difficult match-ups every game and this afternoon will not be an exception. The Wild have three strong lines that will put a lot of pressure on the young Detroit defense. Hopefully games like this one can be positive growing opportunities for the future of the Wings.

Special Teams - The Detroit power play has been improving over the last few games. Converting on the man advantage is key for Detroit to stay in games against the NHL’s best.

Hockeytown > State of Hockey - If you believe it then it must be true.