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At the Rink: Penguins at Red Wings

by Paul Harris

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings enter their game Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins struggling to score goals.

Detroit has two goals in its past two games and 12 in six games in 2014-15.

"We've been talking about that a lot here lately. I think the biggest thing is we've got to fight to score more goals, to get some dirty goals," said Gustav Nyquist, who leads the Red Wings with four goals. "We're creating chances. The puck's lying there. But we've got to win those battles, to get a stick on it and put the puck in the net. For sure we haven't scored enough goals. We've been playing pretty well still but we'd like to score more goals."

A big contributor to the goal-scoring woes has been Detroit's ineffective power play, which is 27th in the League at 2-for-24 (8.3 percent) this season.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock thinks Detroit can take something from Pittsburgh's League-best power play, which is 8-for-19 (42.1 percent).

"Watch their power play. They are way better than ours," Babcock said. "Maybe we can watch what they do and learn something."

Backup goaltender Thomas Greiss will play his first game of the season Thursday for the Penguins. Marc-Andre Fleury started the first five games.

"I think he had a great preseason. Everybody knows that," Pittsburgh coach Mike Johnston said. "It will be good for him to get into a rotation as we have more games."

Johnston didn't anticipate any other lineup changes from the 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

Here are the projected lineups:


Chris Kunitz - Sidney Crosby - Patric Hornqvist

Pascal Dupuis - Brandon Sutter - Evgeni Malkin

Blake Comeau - Nick Spaling - Steve Downie

Zach Sill - Marcel Goc - Craig Adams

Christian Ehrhoff - Paul Martin

Olli Maatta - Kris Letang

Simon Despres - Rob Scuderi

Thomas Greiss

Marc-Andre Fleury

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo

Injured: None


Pavel Datsyuk - Henrik Zetterberg - Justin Abdelkader

Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar

Tomas Jurco - Darren Helm - Andrej Nestrasil

Drew Miller - Luke Glendening - Joakim Andersson

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Jakub Kindl - Brendan Smith

Kyle Quincey - Danny DeKeyser

Jimmy Howard

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Stephen Weiss, Daniel Cleary

Injured: Johan Franzen (groin)

Status report: Weiss likely will be a healthy scratch for the sixth time in seven games this season. ... Red Wings assistant coach Tony Granato spent the previous five seasons as an assistant with the Penguins.

Who's hot: Spaling had a goal and an assist against the Flyers on Wednesday. … Zetterberg has two goals and four assists in his past three games, and has scored Detroit's past two goals.

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