Time: 1:00 PM ET
Place: Little Caesars Arena
TV: FS-D, MSG+
Radio: 97.1 FM The Ticket // 1270 AM
Isles Blog: Lighthouse Hockey
Well, if you’re a fan of the Detroit Red Wings, the last month of hockey has been tough to watch. The Wings are losers of four straight and nine of their last 10 games overall, plummeting to the bottom of the NHL standings in a tie for 30th with the Los Angeles Kings.
It’s been a rough stretch without their young superstar, Dylan Larkin, as he’s been out since Mar. 5 with a neck strain. But, per MLive.com’s Ansar Khan, the team’s leading scorer is set to return this afternoon.
The Wings (58 points) will host the New York Islanders (89 points), a team firmly cemented in a playoff spot — second place in the Metropolitan Division — amidst a tight Eastern Conference race. The Isles play tight hockey under new bench boss, Barry Trotz, posting a plus-33 goal differential (6th in NHL) and don’t seem to be missing a beat after losing long-time captain, John Tavares, to free agency in the offseason.
In the last five meetings between these two teams, the Isles have had the upper hand with a 3-1-1 record in those contests — the Wings dropped the previous two games in December.
The Wings made headlines earlier this week by signing two collegiate forwards in Taro Hirose and Ryan Kuffner.
Neither player was expected to make their debut until next week, but Justin Abdelkader has experienced a sudden ailment, so that opens the door for one of them...
And, of course, if you were wondering about Filip Zadina? He’s been sent down to Grand Rapids as they make their playoff push.
On the other side...
The Isles could get veteran defenceman, Johnny Boychuk, back in the lineup today. He worked on extra drills during the team’s Friday practice and here was the latest on his status...
As for the goaltending situation, both Robin Lehner and Thomas Greiss have been a stellar combo and have helped the Isles to a league-leading 2.34 GA/GP. As for which one will start today, it’s anyone’s guess?