Welcome back to the Game Night Hub, Caniacs! Man, five days is a long time in-season, ain’t it?
The biggest news for today’s game at the Red Wings: Sebastian Aho is still out indefinitely with a concussion and lower-body injury, Bill Peters confirmed in a pre-game conversation. The injury is still listed as “indefinite,” meaning who knows when he’ll be back.
No one has been called up to take his roster spot, but the Canes still have a backup in either Josh Jooris or Phil Di Giuseppe, depending on who Peters decides to finish the fourth line with.
Derek Ryan was back on the ice, skating with Lee Stempniak and Jeff Skinner. He returns after he sustained an upper body injury from a hit by Tom Wilson of the Capitals on Jan. 11.
Brett Pesce was on the ice for morning skate, but is a game-time decision, Peters said. Pesce sustained an upper body injury in morning skate the day after that Capitals game and has been on the IR since then. If he isn’t able to play, that leaves the Canes with no bench players on defense. (Update: The Canes recalled Roland McKeown, although there’s no telling if he will make in time for the start of the game. Still, this could be a clue as to Pesce’s availability.)
No word on who’s in net, so...let’s go with...Scott Darling (9-12-6/2.94 GAA/.895 SV). Yeah, that sounds like it could be right, even though he allowed four goals in Sunday’s game against the Flames. (Who knows with this goaltending corps anymore??) (Update: never mind, it will be Ward. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯)
Here’s what we expect the lines to be, based on reporting from Mike Maniscalco (have a good vacay, Michael Smith — we miss your line reports) and the lines used against the Flames on Sunday:
Teuvo Teravainen - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm
Brock McGinn - Victor Rask - Justin Williams
Lee Stempniak - Jeff Skinner - Derek Ryan
Joakim Nordstrom - Marcus Kruger - Josh Jooris
Jaccob Slavin - Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Haydn Fleury - Klas Dahlbeck
Injuries and scratches: Phil Di Giuseppe (healthy), Brett Pesce (upper body), Sebastian Aho (concussion/lower body).
The Red Wings are also banged up a little themselves.
Darren Helm banged up his leg against the Penguins last Saturday and will not play in today’s game. Jeff Blashill said he’s likely not to return before the All-Star Break, even.
Justin Abdelkader injured his groin in the same game, and will likely not return to the ice against the Canes, though Blashill said they think he could be back before the All-Star Break.
Also, Luke Glendening has been on the IR with a hand injury since Dec. 22, but he was on the ice this morning. However, he’s not expected to play.
Jimmy Howard (14-14-6/2.73 GAA/.914 SV) will get the start in net, so lines will look something like this:
Anthony Mantha – Henrik Zetterberg – Gustav Nyquist
Tyler Bertuzzi – Dylan Larkin – Andreas Athanasiou
Tomas Tatar – Frans Nielsen – Martin Frk
Luke Witkowski – Dominic Turgeon – David Booth
Danny DeKeyser – Trevor Daley
Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson – Xavier Oullet
Injuries and scratches: Nick Jensen (healthy scratch), Darren Helm (lower body), Justin Abdelkader (lower body), Luke Glendening (IR, hand injury).