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Preview: Red Wings at Blackhawks

Detroit forward Justin Abdelkader, defenseman Mike Green expected to play; Chicago after fourth straight win

by Brian Hedger / NHL.com Correspondent

RED WINGS (17-18-5) AT BLACKHAWKS (26-12-5)

8:30 p.m. ET; WGN, FS-D, NHL.TV

 

Red Wings team scope 

Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader and defenseman Mike Green are expected to return from extended injuries. Abdelkader has missed 16 games because of a knee injury and Green (upper body) the past eight. "Abdelkader and Green should be available to play tonight," coach Jeff Blashill said after the morning skate at United Center. "We'll make all our final lineup decisions tonight but they should be available to play." Green and Abdelkader each said they expect to play. Abdelkader hasn't played since Dec. 1. "It's been a little longer than I expected but that's how it goes sometimes. I'm really looking forward to tonight. Always enjoy playing here." Green hasn't played since Dec. 17. "Well, it feels good to be back for sure," he said. "I'm excited. I feel good. I'm sure it'll take a period or two to get the feel back." Goalie Petr Mrazek will start. Forward Frans Nielsen was named to the Atlantic Division roster for the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game. He will be the Red Wings' lone representative.

 

Blackhawks team scope  

The Chicago Blackhawks are looking for their fourth straight win to conclude a four-game homestand. The Blackhawks are 16-4-4 at United Center, second in the League, while outscoring opponents 76-52. Chicago is first in the Central Division with 57 points but is two ahead of the Minnesota Wild, who've played four less games. "We're happy to get those wins, but there's been things we've done good in the last few games and there's things that we haven't done as well," said defenseman Duncan Keith, who was one of four Blackhawks named to the Central Division roster for the All-Star Game. "It's just having a good start [to games] and trying to follow that through. I know it's something we've talked about all year long but it's something you've got to do." Forwards Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews, and goalie Corey Crawford, will also represent the Blackhawks at the All-Star Game. Chicago will have no lineup changes from its 5-2 win against the Nashville Predators on Sunday. Crawford will start.

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Anthony Mantha

Andreas Athanasiou -- Frans Nielsen -- Thomas Vanek

Tomas Tatar -- Dylan Larkin -- Justin Abdelkader 

Drew Miller -- Riley Sheahan -- Luke Glendening

Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green

Jonathan Ericsson -- Alexei Marchenko

Xavier Ouellet -- Ryan Sproul

Petr Mrazek

Jared Coreau

Scratched: Nick Jensen, Tomas Jurco, Steve Ott

Injured: Darren Helm (shoulder), Niklas Kronwall (lower body), Brendan Smith (knee), Jimmy Howard (knee)

 

Blackhawks projected lineup

Vinnie Hinostroza -- Jonathan Toews -- Marian Hossa

Artemi Panarin -- Artem Anisimov -- Patrick Kane

Ryan Hartman -- Tanner Kero -- Richard Panik

Andrew Desjardins -- Dennis Rasmussen -- Jordin Tootoo

Duncan Keith -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Michal Kempny -- Brent Seabrook

Brian Campbell -- Niklas Hjalmarsson

Corey Crawford

Scott Darling

Scratched: Michal Rozsival

Injured: Marcus Kruger (hand)

 

Status report 

The Red Wings didn't hold a full morning skate and didn't show line rushes. … Rozsival is likely to be scratched for the sixth straight game and 13th time in the past 15. … Kruger remains on injured reserve and there is no change in his timetable for a return. He's expected to be out two more weeks.

 

Who's hot

Mantha has seven goals and 12 points in his past nine games. … Vanek has five goals and eight points in his past seven games. … Athanasiou has two goals and five points in his past two games. … Kane has a goal and six assists in a three-game point streak. … Keith has four assists in a four-game point streak. … Hartman has four goals in his past three games. … Hossa has 598 NHL assists and Campbell has 498.

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