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Preview: Islanders at Red Wings

New York 6-0-1 in past seven games; Detroit hopes to end five-game losing streak

by Dave Hogg / Correspondent

ISLANDERS (22-17-9) at RED WINGS (20-21-9)

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


Islanders team scope

The New York Islanders come to Joe Louis Arena with a three-game winning streak and points in their past seven games (6-0-1). The Islanders will be bolstered by the returns of forward Cal Clutterbuck and defenseman Thomas Hickey; each was out with a lower-body injury. New York is 5-0-1 since Doug Weight replaced Jack Capuano as coach, but are five points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. "The beginning of this has been great, but I know there are going to be ebbs and flows as we go," Weight said. "We dug ourselves a big hole early in the season, and we've got to find a way out of it." Forward Jason Chimera is expected to play his 1,000th NHL game. "He's been a huge part of this team, and I hope we can get a win for him," Weight said of Chimera, who has 18 points (10 goals, eight assists) in 48 games this season. Goaltender Thomas Greiss is expected to start; he's 5-0-1 with eight goals allowed and two shutouts in his past six starts. Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg will play in his 800th game in the NHL.


Red Wings team scope  

The Detroit Red Wings have lost five straight (0-2-3), including back-to-back regulation losses at home to the Toronto Maple Leafs and New Jersey Devils. Detroit is in last place in the Eastern Conference, nine points out of the second wild card. "We know we are capable of being a lot better than this, but we have to start making it happen," forward Dylan Larkin said. Goaltender Petr Mrazek will start and try to break a personal 0-7-1 stretch. "I've done some good things in my last couple games, but I have to turn that into a run," he said. "I have to be more consistent." Goaltender Jimmy Howard, who has not played since Dec. 20 because of a knee injury, split practice time with Mrazek and Jared Coreau during the morning skate. Howard is expected to begin a conditioning assignment with Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on Saturday. "I'm excited to get back on the ice in a game situation, because this has been a long process," he said. 


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Ryan Strome

Nikolay Kulemin -- Casey Cizikas -- Andrew Ladd

Cal Clutterbuck -- Alan Quine -- Jason Chimera

Thomas Hickey -- Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan -- Dennis Seidenberg

Adam Pelech -- Nick Leddy

Thomas Greiss

Jean-Francois Berube

Scratched: Stephen Gionta, Shane Prince, Scott Mayfield

Injured: Travis Hamonic (knee)


Red Wings projected lineup

Gustav Nyquist -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Anthony Mantha

Andreas Athanasiou -- Darren Helm -- Thomas Vanek

Tomas Tatar -- Frans Nielsen -- Dylan Larkin

Justin Abdelkader -- Luke Glendening -- Riley Sheahan

Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green

Xavier Ouellet -- Jonathan Ericsson

Niklas Kronwall -- Nick Jensen

Petr Mrazek

Jared Coreau

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

Injured: Tyler Bertuzzi (ankle), Jimmy Howard (knee), Brendan Smith (knee)


Status report

With Clutterbuck and Hickey returning, Prince and Mayfield will be healthy scratches. Clutterbuck practiced with Quine and Chimera, and Hickey was back with Boychuk. … Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill juggled his power-play units again Friday morning, trying to find a spark for the lowest-rated unit in the NHL. Mantha and Nyquist were replaced by Larkin and Sheahan on the first unit in Thursday's practice and again at the morning skate.


Who's hot

Tavares has 14 points (eight goals, six assists) in his past nine games. … Leddy has six points (one goal, five assists) in his past five games. … Ladd has three points (two goals, one assist) in his past two games. … De Haan has three assists in a three-game point streak. … Zetterberg has four points (one goal, three assists) in his past three games.

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