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Preview: Red Wings at Kings

Detroit without defensemen Brendan Smith, Niklas Kronwall; Los Angeles begins seven-game homestand

by Abbey Mastracco / Correspondent

RED WINGS (16-17-5) at KINGS (19-15-4)

10:30 p.m. ET; SN, FS-W, FS-D, NHL.TV


Red Wings team scope

The Detroit Red Wings will be without defensemen Brendan Smith and Niklas Kronwall against the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday after each was injured in a 2-0 loss at the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday. They will each miss the remaining four games of Detroit's seven-game road trip. Smith reaggravated a right knee injury and will have an MRI exam once the swelling goes down. Kronwall has a lower-body injury. Coach Jeff Blashill said Alexey Marchenko and Ryan Sproul will play in their place. Goalie Jared Coreau will start after Petr Mrzazek played on Wednesday. Blashill was not pleased with Detroit's effort in the loss to Anaheim. "As the game went along I thought there was not enough guys driving, too many passengers," Blashill said. "I'd say half our forwards were going, half were not so that's not good enough."


Kings team scope

The Kings are looking to take advantage of a seven-game homestand by building on their two-game winning streak. Los Angeles struggled to maintain consistency during a nine-game road trip in December (3-4-2). Goalie Jeff Zatkoff, who allowed one goal and made 18 saves in a 4-1 win in Detroit on Dec. 15, will start. It will be his eighth start this season. Zatkoff is 2-5-1 with a 2.84 GAA and an .892 save percentage. "Save percentage is really important," coach Darryl Sutter said. "We just came off four games where we gave up -- 5-on-5 -- not many scoring chances. So I'm expecting our goalies to have a high save percentage if they're doing [their] job."


Red Wings projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Anthony Mantha

Gustav Nyquist -- Frans Nielsen -- Thomas Vanek

Riley Sheahan -- Dylan Larkin -- Luke Glendening

Drew Miller -- Andreas Athanasiou -- Steve Ott

Danny DeKeyser -- Nick Jensen

Jonathan Ericsson -- Ryan Sproul

Xavier Ouellet -- Alexey Marchenko

Jared Coreau

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Tomas Jurco

Injured: Johan Franzen (concussion symptoms), Joe Vitale (concussion), Darren Helm (shoulder), Justin Abdelkader (sprained MCL), Mike Green (undisclosed), Jimmy Howard (sprained MCL), Brendan Smith (knee), Niklas Kronwall (lower-body)


Kings projected lineup

Marian Gaborik -- Anze Kopitar -- Dustin Brown

Tanner Pearson -- Jeff Carter -- Devin Setoguchi

Kyle Clifford -- Nic Dowd -- Trevor Lewis

Dwight King -- Nick Shore -- Jordan Nolan

Derek Forbort -- Drew Doughty

Jake Muzzin -- Alec Martinez

Brayden McNabb -- Kevin Gravel

Jeff Zatkoff

Peter Budaj

Scratched: Andy Andreoff, Tom Gilbert, Matt Greene

Injured: Jonathan Quick (groin), Tyler Toffoli (lower-body)


Status report

Marchenko was activated from injured reserve on Thursday. … The Red Wings held an optional morning skate at Staples Center and Blashill confirmed that Athanasiou would be in the lineup and Jurco would be a healthy scratch. ... Gustav Nyquist will play in his 300th NHL game.


Who's hot

Mantha has five goals and nine points in the past seven games. … Zetterberg has a goal and seven assists in the past seven games. … Vanek has two goals and two assists in five games and points in 12 of the past 20 games since returning from an injury. … Pearson has three goals and three assists in the past six games. … Carter has seven goals and two assists in the past seven games.

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