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At the Rink: Flames at Red Wings

by Paul Harris

DETROIT – Captain Henrik Zetterberg will be in the lineup for the Detroit Red Wings (16-9-7) but defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will be a game-time decision when Detroit plays the Calgary Flames (15-15-2) at Joe Louis Arena Sunday (7 p.m., SN, FS-D).

Each player sustained a lower-body injury in the Red Wings 4-3 shootout loss against the Vancouver Canucks Friday and had been listed as questionable for the game.

If Ericsson can't play, Jakub Kindl will take his place in the lineup. Kindl has been a healthy scratch in each of the past eight games.

If Kindl plays, he would be paired with Alexey Marchenko, who had been with Brendan Smith in the third defense duo. Smith would then play alongside Danny DeKeyser on the No. 2 pairing.

"[Smith] is someone I think has played very well here lately," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said. "He has a skill-set to go against the other team's best players. He can skate, he' strong, he can move the puck, so that's something we've looked at. But we'll make that decision when it happens tonight."

Detroit recalled defenseman Xavier Ouellet and center Tomas Nosek from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on Saturday.

Sunday is the final game of Calgary's four-game road trip. The Flames lost 3-2 against the St. Louis Blues Saturday afternoon to end their season-high seven-game winning streak.

"Start again," coach Bob Hartley told the Flames website Sunday. "I told the players there's a huge difference going back home 2-2 or 3-1. We want to get back. We're going to get back home, one game before Christmas and then another nice homestand. Let's start another streak. That’s the way that we’re going to make the playoffs."

Calgary began the road trip with wins against the Nashville Predators and Dallas Stars.

"We've had a real good road trip so far here," forward Johnny Gaudreau said. "This last game is really, really important. Going back home after a road trip 3-1 is a lot better than 2-2. The guys in the locker room know that. It’s a real crucial game for us."

Here are the projected lineups:


Johnny Gaudreau - Sean Monahan - David Jones

Sam Bennett - Markus Granlund - Jiri Hudler

Mason Raymond - Mikael Backlund - Josh Jooris

Michael Ferland - Matt Stajan - Joe Colborne

Mark Giordano - TJ Brodie

Kris Russell - Dougie Hamilton

Ladislav Smid - Dennis Wideman

Karri Ramo

Jonas Hiller

Injured: Michael Frolik (upper body), Lance Bouma (broken fibula)

Scratched: Brandon Bollig, Deryk Engelland


Dylan Larkin - Henrik Zetterberg - Justin Abdelkader

Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Brad Richards

Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar

Tomas Jurco - Luke Glendening - Joakim Andersson

Niklas Kronwall - Mike Green

Danny DeKeyser - Jonathan Ericsson

Brendan Smith - Alexey Marchenko

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Injured: Drew Miller (broken jaw), Teemu Pulkkinen (dislocated shoulder), Johan Franzen (concussion), Kyle Quincey (ankle).

Scratched: Jakub Kindl, Tomas Nosek, Xavier Ouellet

Status update: Pulkkinen skated for the first time since sustaining his injury (Dec. 3) on Saturday, but is not close to returning to the lineup.

Who's hot: Monahan has a goal in each of the past two games. … Datsyuk has a goal and two assists in the past two games.

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