Hobbled Red Wings try to get on track against Wild
(Sports Network) - The Detroit Red Wings aim to shake off some injury concerns and avoid a third straight loss on Sunday evening as they visit the Minnesota Wild.
The Red Wings have followed a three-game winning streak with an overtime setback to St. Louis and a 5-2 defeat at the hands of the Anaheim Ducks to conclude a four-game homestand. They play their next two on the road beginning with this game.
Detroit got a pair of goals in the second period of Friday's meeting with the Ducks before yielding three goals in the final frame while being held to just six shots in the period. Jimmy Howard made 32 saves in defeat.
"They're playing really good hockey right now," said Howard of the Ducks. "They're being very opportunistic and we got a first hand look at it tonight."
Joakim Andersson scored his first career NHL goal and Tomas Tatar netted the third of his career for the Red Wings, who were without Pavel Datsyuk due to a bruised shoulder.
The veteran winger is second on the club with 14 points, having recorded six goals and eight assists, and is questionable for Sunday. Johan Franzen, though, won't play after missing his second game in a row and Friday ahead of being placed on injured reserve because of a hip injury.
Franzen is the sixth Red Wings player currently on injured reserve, but Detroit could have forward Mikael Samuelsson in the lineup against the Wild. Samuelsson hasn't played since Jan. 21 due to a groin injury.
The Wild could also be short a few regular players for this game after forward Pierre-Marc Bouchard and defenseman Justin Falk missed practice on Saturday due to illness. Cal Clutterbuck was able to practice despite taking a stick to the face in Thursday's 4-3 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche and is questionable.
Minnesota did recall forwards Johan Larsson and Jason Zucker from the Houston Aeros of the AHL on Saturday. Zucker leads with Aeros with 41 points, while Larsson has notched 27 on the season.
The Wild got goals from Mikko Koivu and Zach Parise in Thursday's loss, but both skaters came up empty on their shootout attempts. Niklas Backstrom, meanwhile, was bested twice in the session after making 29 saves through overtime.
"We worked hard in the third and got ourselves back in the game and took the lead at one point, but you've got to close those out," noted Parise.
Mike Rupp also scored for the Wild, who have lost two straight and five of their last seven.
Parise scored twice in a 5-3 loss at Detroit on Jan. 25, while Datsyuk had a goal and two assists for the Red Wings.
Howard made 23 saves for Detroit, which has won six of its last eight versus the Wild and seven of the past 10 encounters in Minnesota.
02/17 10:38:35 ET