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Red Wings can move into playoff spot with win

Detroit would be third in Atlantic with victory vs. Minnesota, plus Boston regulation loss

by Paul Harris / Correspondent

WILD (38-29-11) at RED WINGS (38-28-11)

TV: 7:30 p.m., ET; FS-N, FS-D+, NHLN-US

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings can move into third place in the Atlantic Division with a win against the Minnesota Wild at Joe Louis Arena on Friday.

The Red Wings are fourth in the division, one point behind the Bruins, who play at the St. Louis Blues on Friday (8 p.m. ET; NESN, FS-MW, NHL.TV). A Red Wings would move ahead with a win and a regulation loss by the Bruins.

Detroit has reached the Stanley Cup Playoffs in 24 consecutive seasons.

The Red Wings are 2-3-0 in their past five games and have allowed 22 goals.

Video: PIT@DET: Kunitz ties it with bank off Mrazek's back

"In March we've given up too many goals," coach Jeff Blashill said. "For the most part we just got to clean up mental errors. We just got to make sure we're sharp in our decisions every single time."

On several occasions they have allowed a goal or more soon after the opponent scored.

"We can definitely do a better job handling adversity," forward Justin Abdelkader said. "Stuff is going to happen. They're going to score goals. We just have to do a better job of battling back and making sure they don't tilt the ice for seven minutes."

The Wild are five points ahead of the Colorado Avalanche for the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Western Conference but the Avalanche have one game in hand. The Wild trail the Nashville Predators by four points for the first wild card.

After a 3-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday to end a six-game winning streak, Minnesota did not practice Friday morning.

Video: CHI@MIN: Haula nets five-hole to double Wild's lead

"We have a lot of guys who have to up their ante," Torchetti told after the loss Thursday. "There's no nights off in this League. It's the best League in the world. We've got to be ready to battle and I didn't like our battle level."

Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk could start Friday. Earlier in the day he was named the NHL Second Star of the Month for March. He was 10-2-1 with a 2.06 goals-against average, .927 save percentage and one shutout in 14 games during the month.

Here are the projected lineups:


Zach Parise - Mikko Koivu - Charlie Coyle

Jason Zucker - Mikael Granlund - Justin Fontaine

Nino Niederreiter - Erik Haula - Jason Pominville

Jordan Schroeder - Jarret Stoll - Chris Porter

Ryan Suter - Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella - Jonas Brodin

Mike Reilly - Matt Dumba

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Injured: David Jones (lower body), Thomas Vanek (knee)

Scratched: Ryan Carter, Nate Prosser


Justin Abdelkader - Henrik Zetterberg - Dylan Larkin

Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Brad Richards

Gustav Nyquist - Riley Sheahan - Tomas Tatar

Andreas Athanasiou - Luke Glendening - Anthony Mantha

Danny DeKeyser - Kyle Quincey

Niklas Kronwall - Alexey Marchenko

Jonathan Ericsson - Mike Green

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Injured: Drew Miller (knee), Johan Franzen (concussion)

Scratched: Teemu Pulkkinen, Tomas Jurco, Brendan Smith

Status update: Blashill said rookies Athanasiou and Mantha will start the game as linemates but that Mantha could move up to play with Datsyuk as the game progresses. However he said he likes what he's seen in the past from Athanasiou and Mantha playing with Glendening. "They have really good chemistry together," Blashill said. "Having [Glendening] in the middle … gives them a real trust factor from my end, which ultimately allows you to get on the ice a little bit more. So, again, we're just looking for the best mix to give ourselves a best chance to win."

Who's hot: Parise has six goals and two assists in his past five games … Sheahan (three goals, one assist) and Green (two goals, two assists) each have four points in their past four games.

Video: OTT@MIN: Parise jams home rebound with one hand

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