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At the Rink blog

Red Wings look for sweep of road trip

Monday, 11.04.2013 / 2:06 PM

By Patrick Williams - NHL.com Correspondent / 2013-2014 At the Rink Blog

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2013-2014 At the Rink Blog
Red Wings look for sweep of road trip

WINNIPEG -- The Detroit Red Wings have an opportunity to sweep their tour of Western Canada when they meet the Winnipeg Jets at MTS Centre on Monday.

The Red Wings (9-4-2) have the first three games on the journey, including a 5-0 win Saturday against the Edmonton Oilers. A win against the Jets would boost them ahead of the idle Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning for the top spot in the Atlantic Division.

Detroit recalled defenseman Adam Almquist from the Grand Rapids Griffins of the American Hockey League on Sunday to replace injured defenseman Brendan Smith (shoulder). Smith injured himself in a third-period fight with Edmonton’s Will Acton.

"It's too bad [Smith] got hurt," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "I guess the way that I look at it is that in a 5-0 game with three minutes left, I don't know [whether] he needed to scrap. He obviously made that decision and now he has to sit out."

Almquist, whose seven assists led the Griffins, will become the third Red Wing to make his NHL debut this season, joining center Luke Glendening and defenseman Xavier Ouellet.

Babcock also will put right wing Jordin Tootoo back into the lineup. Tootoo played junior hockey in the Western Hockey League for the Brandon Wheat Kings, a short drive from Winnipeg, and he will have a large group of family and friends in attendance. Tootoo will skate on a line with Darren Helm, who grew up near Winnipeg and made his season debut Saturday against Edmonton.

For the Jets Evander Kane (lower body) is questionable. Kane did not practice Sunday and did not partake in the team's morning skate Monday. Eric Tangradi is expected to return to the Winnipeg lineup, likely in place of Anthony Peluso.

If Kane is not available, it would be another hurdle for the Jets, who lost 5-1 at home to the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday and have one win in their past seven games (1-4-2).

"I think we need to focus on the process," Jets coach Claude Noel said, "the process of playing and how we play and how we need to do things that help us get the results that we're looking for."

Injuries continue to force changes to the Jets' defense corps as well. Paul Postma, Mark Stuart and Jacob Trouba all remain injured, so the Jets claimed 24-year-old defenseman Keaton Ellerby off waivers from the Los Angeles Kings. Ellerby, who did not dress for the Kings this season, will play Monday against the Red Wings.

Winnipeg also recalled defenseman Zach Redmond from the St. John's IceCaps of the American Hockey League on Sunday and returned Ben Chiarot and Julian Melchiori to the IceCaps. Redmond, who made his season debut with the IceCaps over the weekend after recovering from a knee injury, will not play Monday, as Noel wants to ease him into the lineup.

Babcock will return Jimmy Howard to the Detroit net after giving him a night off against Edmonton.

Al Montoya will make his third start of the season for the Jets. Montoya relieved Ondrej Pavelec against the Blackhawks. He shut out the New Jersey Devils on Oct. 13 in his only home start this season.

"[Montoya] has been good for us," Noel said. "He gets a chance to [get] a little rhythm in his game. It just gives him an opportunity. Pavelec has had a heavy load."

Here are the probable lineups for the Red Wings and Jets on Monday:

RED WINGS

Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Todd Bertuzzi

Daniel Cleary - Stephen Weiss - Daniel Alfredsson

Tomas Tatar - Joakim Andersson - Justin Abdelkader

Drew Miller - Darren Helm - Jordin Tootoo

Niklas Kronwall - Danny DeKeyser

Kyle Quincey - Jakub Kindl

Brian Lashoff - Adam Almquist

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Patrick Eaves, Mikael Samuelsson

Injured: Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder), Johan Franzen (lower body), Jonas Gustavsson (upper body), Brendan Smith (shoulder)

JETS

Andrew Ladd - Bryan Little - Devin Setoguchi

Evander Kane - Olli Jokinen - Blake Wheeler

Matt Halischuk - Mark Scheifele - Michael Frolik

Eric Tangradi - James Wright - Chris Thorburn

Grant Clitsome - Dustin Byfuglien

Tobias Enstrom - Zach Bogosian

Adam Pardy - Keaton Ellerby

Ondrej Pavelec

Al Montoya

Scratched: Anthony Peluso

Injured: Paul Postma (blood clot), Jim Slater (undisclosed), Mark Stuart (hip), Jacob Trouba (upper body)

Quote of the Day

The groove of being behind a bench is going to be interesting at first, but thank God we have a few exhibition games to get rid of those cobwebs. Overall the excitement of it all and the freshness and coming back refreshed, all those things are going to be assets. If [the players] come ready to give their best effort in practice and games, good things are going to happen. I'm always looking for results. It's not always on the scoreboard. It's winning and building something.

— Bryan Trottier on making his return to coaching as an assistant with the Sabres