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Preview: Islanders at Red Wings

Forward Cal Clutterbuck returns for New York; goalie Petr Mrazek starts for Detroit

by Dave Hogg / Correspondent

ISLANDERS (27-21-10) at RED WINGS (24-25-10)

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


Islanders team scope

The New York Islanders will have forward Cal Clutterbuck back in the lineup for the opener of a nine-game road trip. He missed New York's past nine games with a lower-body injury but took part in an optional morning skate without problems. "It's going to be great to have him back. Our injured guys are starting to trickle back," coach Doug Weight said. "We're playing so well that we're going to have some tough lineup choices ahead of us." The Islanders make their last regular-season visit to Joe Louis Arena needing to find a way to start winning on the road. New York is two points behind Boston for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference, but the Islanders are 7-13-4 away from the Barclays Center; they are 20-8-6 at home after a 6-4 win against the New Jersey Devils on Sunday. "I believe that this is a good road team, because it was built for the road and the playoffs," Weight said. "We've just got to convince ourselves of that, and we need to do it on this trip. We're in the middle of 10 teams right now and most of them aren't going to make the playoffs, so every game is huge."


Red Wings team scope

Goaltender Petr Mrazek will start for the Detroit Red Wings, who will try to build on back-to-back weekend victories against the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. "I think we've been playing good hockey for a while now, so those two games didn't surprise me," coach Jeff Blashill said. "In this league, but especially in the Eastern Conference, there is such a fine line between victory and defeat that it just takes one thing going well to get you over. We had great goaltending in both those games, and we have to keep that up." The Red Wings are eight points behind the Florida Panthers for third place in the Atlantic Division and the Boston Bruins for the second wild card from the East. This is their last game before a seven-day break that's followed by a five-game road trip. "I know teams struggle coming out of the break, and I can understand that," defenseman Brendan Smith said. "We're not in a position to do that, though. We need to come back and win games right away."


Islanders projected lineup

Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Josh Bailey

Anthony Beauvillier -- Brock Nelson -- Ryan Strome

Andrew Ladd -- Casey Cizikas -- Nikolay Kulemin

Jason Chimera -- Alan Quine -- Cal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy -- Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan -- Dennis Seidenberg

Thomas Hickey - Scott Mayfield

Thomas Greiss

Jean-Francois Berube

Scratched : Adam Pelech, Stephen Gionta

Injured : Travis Hamonic (knee), Shane Prince (upper body)


Red Wings projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Anthony Mantha

Andreas Athanasiou -- Frans Nielsen -- Thomas Vanek

Justin Abdelkader -- Darren Helm -- Dylan Larkin

Riley Sheahan -- Luke Glendening -- Steve Ott

Danny DeKeyser -- Mike Green

Brendan Smith -- Niklas Kronwall

Nick Jensen -- Xavier Ouellet

Petr Mrazek

Jared Coreau

Scratched : Tomas Jurco, Ryan Sproul

Injured : Tyler Bertuzzi (ankle), Jimmy Howard (knee), Jonathan Ericsson (wrist)

Suspended : Gustav Nyquist


Status report

Weight said all 13 healthy forwards will take part in warmups before he decides on his final line combinations. … Green expects to play after missing the previous two games with an illness. He took part in the morning skate in his normal spot alongside DeKeyser and didn't report any problems. This will be Mrazek's ninth start in 10 games.


Who's hot

Lee has 18 points (eight goals, 10 assists) in his past 17 games. Strome has 11 points (five goals, six assists) in his last 11 games. … Zetterberg has 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in his last 10 games. Mrazek has a .946 save percentage (129 shots, seven goals) in his last four starts.

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