(Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)
The Stanley Cup Playoffs don't start for about 11 weeks, but the way teams are so tightly bunched in the Eastern Conference, each game seems like it has serious postseason implications and the game Tuesday between the Red Wings and Flyers is no different. The Red Wings enter one point ahead of the Flyers in the race for the final wild-card spot in the East.
Helping the Red Wings in their cause is the likely return from injury of goaltender Jimmy Howard. The Red Wings on Monday sent goaltender Petr Mrazek to the American Hockey League, paving the way for Howard to be activated from injured reserve with a knee injury.
The Wings will go into another game without their top two scorers, as forwards Henrik Zetterberg (back) and Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) didn't make the trip to Philadelphia. It will be the fifth time this season two of the team's top forwards have been out of the lineup at the same time; they're 1-2-1 in those games.
Datsyuk hasn't played since Jan. 1, while Zetterberg has been in and out of the lineup with a back injury, and the issue flared up again Sunday, keeping him out of the team's game against the Florida Panthers.
Stepping into the scoring breech recently has been forward Gustav Nyquist. The 24-year-old has a goal in four straight games and at least a point in five in a row. And on Monday he was named the League's Second Star of the Week.
Tonight, these banged up boys in red will look to steal one on the road in 'The City of Brotherly Love.'
Welcome to the Detroit Red Wings Game Day Blog, where you can get behind-the-scenes information, thoughts from players and staff, and up-to-date news on anything and everything Red Wings on game day.
You can watch tonight's 7:00 PM matchup on Fox Sports Detroit, or listen in with Ken Kal and Paul Woods on AM1270.