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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, March 22nd (All times Eastern)

Detroit Red Wings (32-24-13) at Minnesota Wild (36-23-11), 2 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The injury-riddled Detroit Red Wings didn't show any quit last time out and take aim at a third victory in a row on Saturday afternoon as they visit the Minnesota Wild in the opener of a home-and-home series.

The Red Wings are one point out of a wild card spot in the Eastern Conference despite a list of injured players that includes Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk among many others. Still, Detroit is chasing a 23rd straight trip to the postseason and boosted its chances on Thursday night with a thrilling 5-4 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Detroit was forced to kill off a five-minute major by David Legwand for jamming Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin with the butt end of his stick, leaving the Red Wings shorthanded for the final 3:46 of regulation and the first 74 seconds of overtime.

With time winding down, a turnover in the Detroit end saw the Red Wings go the other way on a 3-on-1. Skating down the right wing, Daniel Alfredsson let fly with a shot that Marc-Andre Fleury stopped, but the rebound came out front, went off Pittsburgh's Rob Scuderi and made it into the net with just 0.4 seconds left on the clock.

"I didn't know there was only a few seconds left but I saw it go in before the horn went off so I thought it would be good," said Alfredsson, who finished with two goals and an assist. "Big break for us and we'll gladly take it today."

Gustav Nyquist scored a goal in his third straight game, with four tallies and an assist over that span, while Tomas Tatar and Todd Bertuzzi also scored. Jimmy Howard made 39 saves in Detroit's third victory in four games.

There is a chance that the Red Wings could get an injured player back as forward Darren Helm has been cleared to return from concussion-related issues that have held him out of the past eight games. However, it is unknown if he will play today.

Howard is expected to get the start and is 9-3-2 with a 2.10 goals against average in his career versus the Wild.

The Red Wings are tied with Washington at 77 points, and both clubs are just a point behind Columbus, which is idle on Saturday. Detroit holds two games in hand over the Capitals, who are visiting San Jose tonight.

Minnesota owns an eight-point edge for a wild card spot in the Western Conference and has won just twice in its last eight games. However, the Wild have notched a point in six of those contests, including Thursday's 4-3 overtime setback to the New Jersey Devils.

Zach Parise, who captained the Devils to the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals and spent his first seven NHL seasons with New Jersey before signing with the Wild, scored one of Minnesota's three third-period goals that erased a 2-0 deficit.

"It was fun to be back, but unfortunately the outcome wasn't what we were planning on," Parise said. "We were able to claw back into the game and get a point. That could be a big one later in the year.

"In a way, I'm kind of glad it's over."

Matt Cooke and Mikael Granlund also tallied for Minnesota, which received 25 saves out of Ilya Bryzgalov in his second straight start.

Darcy Kuemper is expected to get the nod for the Wild today and he beat the Red Wings the only other time he faced them, allowing two goals on 31 shots faced.

The Wild have won two straight and four of their past six meetings with the Red Wings overall, as well as the last two played in Minnesota.

The clubs will complete their home-and-home series Sunday evening in Detroit.

03/22 11:15:00 ET

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1st
CREI 4
NCCU 3
 
1st
NCSU 9
SFLA 1
 
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MEM
LAC
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GSW
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Final
GMAS 60
COC 61
Final
FSU 69
UMASS 75
Final
SHSU 53
WOFF 64
Final
UNCG 67
YOUNG 76
Final
CMICH 75
ARKPB 43
 
Final
ILLCH 60
SILL 67
Final
MORE 46
AMER 51
 
Final
CORN 59
DREX 61
 
Final
CCST 60
COOK 65
 
1st OT
ARKLR 78
CSNO 80
 
Final
LEH 44
CLMB 54
 
Final
USB 89
MERMAR 54
 
Final
NMU 51
TEXAM 64
 
Final
STLU 56
TAMCC 62
 
2nd
FAIR 68
SD 62
 
2nd
EMICH 73
LONG 45
 
2nd
ND 57
PROV 56
 
2nd
RAD 49
CATAWBA 33
 
2nd
DEN 44
COPST 32
 
2nd
UAB 29
JST 27
 
Half
WICHS 67
NWM 33
 
2nd
OKLA 59
NWST 37
 
1st
KSU 28
YALE 21
 
1st
CREI 4
NCCU 3
 
1st
NCSU 9
SFLA 1
 
1st
UCR 11
STKAT 13
 
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PSU 15
USC 6
 
1st
HC 8
NICHOLSCOL 10
 
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DAY
4:30pm Today
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Final
HOU 13
CIN 22
 
Final
ATL 24
CLE 26
 
4th
NEP 34
DET 9
 
Final
MIN 21
GBP 24
 
Final
IND 23
JAC 3
 
4th
CHI 21
TAM 13
 
4th
PHI 40
TEN 17
 
1st
SEA 0
ARI 0
 
1st
SDC 0
STL 0
 
4:25pm Today
DEN
MIA
4:25pm Today
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WAS
8:30pm Tonight
NYG
DAL