banner

NHL

more stats

NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Wednesday, April 9th (All times Eastern)

Detroit Red Wings (38-27-14) at Pittsburgh Penguins (50-24-5), 8 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Detroit Red Wings can clinch their 23rd straight trip to the playoffs when they visit the Pittsburgh Penguins for Wednesday's battle at Consol Energy Center.

The Red Wings, who last missed the playoffs in 1990, need to gain just one point from Wednesday's game to qualify for the postseason yet again.

With 90 points, Detroit is five ahead of ninth-seeded Washington and six clear of New Jersey. All three teams have three games left in the regular season, and both the Capitals and Devils are idle on Wednesday. The Red Wings also are a point ahead of Columbus for the first of the Eastern Conference's two wild card playoff spots. The Blue Jackets play Wednesday in Dallas.

The Red Wings have won five of their last six games to solidify their postseason chances. After dropping the opener of a three-game road trip Saturday in Montreal, Detroit bounced back with Tuesday's 4-2 victory in Buffalo.

Darren Helm, David Legwand and Pavel Datsyuk scored third-period goals for the Red Wings in the win over the Sabres. Brendan Smith also tallied for Detroit, while Jimmy Howard backed up his offense with 25 saves.

Detroit head coach Mike Babcock won his 414th game with the franchise, vaulting him over Jack Adams for tops on the all-time list.

"The win tonight is way more important than that," Babcock said.

Detroit improved to 20-15-4 as the visiting team this season after Tuesday's win. The club will host Carolina in its final home game of the regular season on Friday before completing its schedule Sunday in St. Louis.

Pittsburgh is wrapping up the regular season on a three-game homestand that begins tonight. The club already has sealed up the Metropolitan Division title and is locked into the second seed in the East. All that is left for the Penguins is to await the outcome of the other playoff races, which will determine who Pittsburgh hosts in the opening round of the postseason.

The Penguins have won four of their last six games and are coming off Sunday's 3-2 shootout win in Colorado. Pittsburgh outlasted the Avalanche despite playing without captain Sidney Crosby, fellow forward Chris Kunitz and defensemen Olli Maatta and Brooks Orpik due to various injuries.

Pittsburgh could get some of those players back tonight, and the club also will see defenseman Kris Letang make his return to the lineup after suffering a stroke in January.

Letang has missed 26 games since last playing on Jan. 27 against Buffalo. The 26-year-old blueliner had been cleared by doctors to resume all physical activities in late March and Pittsburgh general manager Ray Shero said it was up to Letang when he wanted to come back.

"Kris was cleared by doctors and it was his choice on when to return," Shero said. "He's been bugging me for a while to play"

Letang had battled injuries this season before suffering the stroke in January, but still has managed to post 10 goals and eight assists in just 34 games this season. He went on blood thinners following the stroke, but was taken off them when he returned to practice last month.

Meanwhile, Crosby, Kunitz, Maatta and Orpik all practiced on Tuesday and are questionable for Wednesday's game. Even if all four of those players return tonight, Pittsburgh will still be without several injured players, including forward Evgeni Malkin.

Brandon Sutter supplied both regulation goals for the Penguins in Sunday's win, giving him 13 tallies on the season. Jussi Jokinen netted the lone shootout goal in the second round, as the Penguins picked up the win at Pepsi Center.

Marc-Andre Fleury finished with 39 saves to earn the victory.

The Pens and Red Wings have split a pair of meetings in 2013-14, but Wednesday's matchup marks the first encounter this season in Pittsburgh. Detroit has fared well recently in the Steel City, going 3-1-1 in the last five encounters at Consol Energy Center.

Pittsburgh is 27-9-2 as the host this season.

04/09 10:59:36 ET

Other Stories

Hurricanes

Canes dominate Florida, 5-1 2
Maniscalco: Eric Staal to sit preseason opener

Eric Staal will not play in tomorrow's pre-season opener after undergoing a surgical procedure to repair a core body injury.

Related Stories
  • NFL: Washington at Philadelphia

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on FOX50

  • NFL: Oakland at New England

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Denver at Seattle

    Tomorrow at 4:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Green Bay at Detroit

    Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on 620am

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Columbus

    Tomorrow at 1:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Pittsburgh

    Tomorrow at 8:30 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
 
4th
TOWSN 24
NCCU 20
 
4th
NCSU 35
PRES 0
 
Final
KAN 2
DET 3
Final
CHC 8
LOS 7
Final
OAK 0
PHI 3
Final
NYY 3
TOR 6
Final
COL 5
ARI 1
4th
BAL 2
BOS 2
 
4th
PIT 0
MIL 0
 
5th
TAM 2
CWS 0
 
1st
MIN 0
CLE 0
 
4th
ATL 0
NYM 3
 
4th
HOU 5
SEA 1
 
4th
MIA 1
WAS 0
 
4th
STL 5
CIN 1
 
8:40pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
9:05pm Tonight
ANA
TEX
Final
WISC 68
BGU 17
Final
MSU 73
EMICH 14
Final
VT 24
GT 27
Final
PITT 20
IOWA 24
Final
RICE 42
ODU 45
Final
UGA 66
TROY 0
Final
SYR 20
MD 34
Final
DUKE 47
TULA 13
Final
COL 21
HAW 12
Final
AKR 17
MARS 48
 
Final
WAKE 24
ARMY 21
Final
KU 24
CMICH 10
Final
ALA 42
UF 21
Final
FIU 3
LOU 34
 
Final
ECU 70
UNC 41
 
Final
NAVY 24
RUTG 31
Final
SMU 6
TEXAM 58
3:30pm Today
MICH 10
UTAH 26
Final
BYU 41
UVA 33
Final
WYO 20
FATL 19
 
Final
MIZZ 27
IND 31
 
Final
PSU 48
UMASS 7
Final
MINN 24
SJST 7
 
3rd
ILL 25
TXST 28
 
3rd
WASH 7
GASTATE 14
 
2nd
SMISS 14
APPST 7
 
7:00pm Tonight
TOL 6
BST 0
2nd
OHIO 17
IDAHO 7
 
2nd
CIN 10
UMO 14
 
2nd
MEM 19
MTST 7
 
2nd
LSU 0
MSST 17
 
2nd
ARK 21
NILL 7
 
2nd
ARKST 0
UTST 7
 
2nd
SALABAMA 0
GASO 7
 
2nd
WVU 7
OKLA 3
 
2nd
VANDY 14
SCAR 3
 
1st
NEB 7
MIAMI 7
 
1st
NMST 0
NMU 0
 
1st
HOU 0
UNLV 7
 
8:25pm Tonight
FSU
CLEM
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
CAL
10:30pm Tonight
BSU
LALAF
10:30pm Tonight
WASU
OREG
10:30pm Tonight
ORST
SDST
4th
TOWSN 24
NCCU 20
 
4th
NCSU 35
PRES 0