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Preview: Devils at Red Wings

Center Dylan Larkin returns for Detroit; New Jersey feeling urgency to rise in standings

by Dave Hogg / NHL.com Correspondent

DEVILS (20-21-9) at RED WINGS (20-20-9)

7:30 p.m. ET; MSG+ 2, FS-D, NHL.TV

 

Devils team scope

The New Jersey Devils come to Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday with the worst record in the Eastern Conference, seven points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, and tied in points with the Detroit Red Wings, who have one game in hand. New Jersey is 1-3-0 in its past four games following three straight victories. "We know we have to come out of the All-Star break on a winning streak, and I'm a big part of that," goaltender Cory Schneider said. "I have got to play better hockey so that we can make a big push for the playoffs." Defenseman Andy Greene (wrist) has returned to the ice with his teammates, but isn't expected to play until Friday against the Calgary Flames, coach John Hynes said. The Devils recalled defensemen Steven Santini, Seth Helgeson and Karl Stollery from Albany of the American Hockey League. Each had been sent down to play two games during the NHL All-Star break. Center Adam Henrique will play in his 400th NHL game.

 

Red Wings team scope

Red Wings center Dylan Larkin will return to the lineup after missing two games with an upper-body injury. Detroit looks to end a four-game losing streak (0-1-3). "I'm excited to get back out there, because we know we've got to start winning games," he said. Center Frans Nielsen was excused from practice Monday night after taking part in the 2017 Honda NHL All-Star Game, but was back Tuesday morning. "That was an awesome experience, but the best part was Friday night, when we got to meet the Top 100. That was incredible," Nielsen said. Goaltender Jimmy Howard, sidelined since Dec. 20 with a knee injury, took part in Detroit's morning skate on Tuesday. He is expected to report to Grand Rapids of the AHL later this week for two conditioning starts before rejoining the Red Wings.

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Miles Wood -- Adam Henrique -- Michael Cammalleri

Pavel Zacha -- Jacob Josefson -- Stefan Noesen

Devante Smith-Pelly -- Vernon Fiddler -- PA Parenteau

Jon Merrill -- Ben Lovejoy

Kyle Quincey -- Damon Severson

Karl Stollery -- Steven Santini

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Sergey Kalinin, Luke Gazdic, Seth Helgeson

Injured: John Moore (concussion), Andy Greene (wrist), Beau Bennett (leg)

 

Red Wings projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Anthony Mantha

Andreas Athanasiou -- Frans Nielsen -- Thomas Vanek

Tomas Tatar -- Darren Helm -- Dylan Larkin

Justin Abdelkader -- Luke Glendening -- Riley Sheahan

Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green

Xavier Ouellet -- Jonathan Ericsson

Niklas Kronwall -- Nick Jensen

Jared Coreau

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Steve Ott, Ryan Sproul, Alexey Marchenko, Tomas Jurco

Injured: Tyler Bertuzzi (ankle), Jimmy Howard (knee), Brendan Smith (knee), Thomas Vanek (lower body), Dylan Larkin (upper body).

 

Status report

Hynes used the same line combinations and defense pairs Tuesday morning that played in New Jersey's final game before the break, a 5-2 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday. … With Larkin rejoining the team, forward Drew Miller was sent to Grand Rapids. … Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill has Larkin and Athanasiou, his two fastest players, working on the penalty-kill unit rather than the power play.

 

Who's hot

Cammalleri has four assists in a three-game point streak. … Wood has two goals and one assist in his past three games. … Coreau has more shutouts (two) than regulation losses (one) in his 11 appearances this season.

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