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At the Rink: Red Wings at Wild

by Dan Myers

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Detroit Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin could return to the lineup against the Minnesota Wild at Xcel Energy Center on Monday.

Larkin, who missed the Red Wings' 3-2 win against the Nashville Predators on Saturday with an upper-body injury, was originally believed to have a better chance of returning when the Red Wings play the second of back-to-back games against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

"He looked like he was ready but until I know for sure and he comes back tonight and he feels the same as he did today, we're going to wait and see," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said.

Following practice Sunday, Blashill wasn't as optimistic about Larkin's chances to play.

"Definitely seeing progress, so that's good news," Larkin said. "I'm excited to get back. I'm fresh, ready to skate. With the way I play, I don't see it holding me back or being afraid out there. I just want to get back, create some offense and play my game."

Asked if it is up to him whether he would play, Larkin said he would.

"I think after practicing twice, I feel like I can do that," Larkin said. "If it's safe, I think I'm ready."

Forward Luke Glendening is sick and is also a game-time decision. If he can't play, Eric Tangradi, who was recalled from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League, would play in Glendening's place.

Wild forward Zach Parise, who left practice Sunday with an apparent lower-body injury, skated Monday and will be in the lineup.

Goaltender Devan Dubnyk, who also left practice Sunday and needed six stitches to close a cut on his right wrist could back up starter Darcy Kuemper. If Dubnyk doesn't dress, Niklas Backstrom would be the backup for the fourth time this season.

Here are the projected lineups:


Justin Abdelkader - Henrik Zetterberg - Dylan Larkin

Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Brad Richards

Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar

Tomas Jurco - Joakim Andersson - Eric Tangradi

Niklas Kronwall - Danny DeKeyser

Brendan Smith - Mike Green

Jakub Kindl - Alexey Marchenko

Petr Mrazek

Jimmy Howard

Injured: Jonathan Ericsson (shoulder), Kyle Quincy (ankle), Luke Glendening (illness), Teemu Pulkkinen (dislocated shoulder), Drew Miller (broken jaw), Johan Franzen (concussion)

Scratched: Tomas Nosek


Zach Parise - Mikael Granlund - Jason Pominville

Thomas Vanek - Mikko Koivu - Jason Zucker

Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Charlie Coyle

Chris Porter - Jarret Stoll - Ryan Carter

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella - Matt Dumba

Jonas Brodin - Nate Prosser

Darcy Kuemper

Devan Dubnyk

Injured: None

Scratched: Niklas Backstrom, Justin Fontaine

Status report: Ericsson remains out with a shoulder injury sustained on Dec. 18 but is getting closer to a return. ... Fontaine will be a healthy scratch for the first time this season.

Who's hot: Datsyuk has a point in four of his past five games with five points during that span. ... Kuemper is 3-0-0 with a .963 save percentage in his past three starts. He has allowed five goals in regulation over his past five starts.

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