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Preview: Red Wings at Maple Leafs

Frederik Andersen in goal as Toronto hopes to end losing streak; Detroit's Robbie Russo to make NHL debut

by Dave McCarthy / NHL.com Correspondent

RED WINGS (25-27-11) at MAPLE LEAFS (28-22-14)

7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, TSN4, FS-D, NHL.TV

 

Red Wings team scope

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Robbie Russo will make his NHL debut Tuesday. "I'm really excited," Russo said. "It was a good morning skate and I'm looking forward to tonight." Russo has 31 points (seven goals, 24 assists) in 56 games with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. "Rob's a really, really smart, really poised defenseman," coach Jeff Blashill said. "He can move a puck really well and he can do it under pressure. He's been an elite defenseman in the [AHL] for a couple years now." Defenseman Ryan Sproul will not play after spraining his left knee in a 4-3 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday. Blashill said Sproul will be re-evaluated in 10-14 days but that his season could be over if it is determined that he requires surgery. Goaltender Petr Mrazek will make his eighth consecutive start. The Red Wings lost their first two games against the Toronto Maple Leafs this season, 5-4 in overtime in Toronto on Jan. 1 and 4-0 in Detroit on Jan 25. They play once more this season, in Detroit on April 1.

 

Maple Leafs team scope

The Toronto Maple Leafs are on a season-long five game losing streak (0-2-3). Their last win was 5-4 in overtime against the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 21. "We want to put that behind us," center Auston Matthews said. "Obviously we've had a little bit of a lull there. You go through those throughout the season but we definitely want to try to ramp it up here these last 18 games and put ourselves in a good spot." They are one point behind the Islanders for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. "It's fun," forward Tyler Bozak said. "It's obviously good competition and that's what we've all grown up doing and love to do. We're right in the thick of it so it's going to be a fun end to the season. We're staying confident in here and believe in our chances. It's kind of up to us. We just have to go out there and win games." Goaltender Frederik Andersen will start after backing up Curtis McElhinney in a 5-2 loss to the Anaheim Ducks on Friday.

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Tomas Tatar

Andreas Athanasiou -- Frans Nielsen -- Anthony Mantha

Justin Abdelkader -- Darren Helm -- Dylan Larkin

Drew Miller -- Riley Sheahan -- Luke Glendening

Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green

Niklas Kronwall -- Nick Jensen

Xavier Ouellet -- Robbie Russo

Petr Mrazek

Jared Coreau

Scratched: Mitch Callahan

Injured: Ryan Sproul (left knee), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist), Jimmy Howard (knee)

 

Maple Leafs projected lineup

James van Riemsdyk -- Tyler Bozak -- Mitchell Marner

Leo Komarov -- Nazem Kadri -- William Nylander

Zach Hyman -- Auston Matthews -- Connor Brown

Matt Martin -- Brian Boyle -- Nikita Soshnikov

Morgan Rielly -- Nikita Zaitsev

Jake Gardiner -- Alexey Marchenko

Matt Hunwick -- Roman Polak

Frederik Andersen

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Martin Marincin, Josh Leivo, Ben Smith, Eric Fehr

Injured: Connor Carrick (upper body)

 

Status Report

Nyquist is expected to play after missing practice Monday because of an illness. … Carrick skated by himself at practice Sunday and Monday but there is no timetable for his return. He hasn't played since getting injured against the Winnipeg Jets on Feb. 21. He'll miss his sixth game Tuesday. "Worked out hard, feels good, doing what he can to get back," Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock said. "Obviously he's an important guy for us."

 

Who's hot

Zetterberg has 10 points (one goal, nine assists) during a six-game point streak. Abdelkader has four points (one goal, three assists) during a three-game point streak. … Nylander has three assists in his past four games. Bozak has three points (one goal, two assists) in his past four games.

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