Preview: Detroit returns to action against Colorado at LCA

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On Black History Night, the Detroit Red Wings play host to the Colorado Avalanche tonight at LCA.  Colorado are currently 1st in the Western Conference and are 7-2-1 in their last 10 games.

Game time tonight is 7:30 PM at LCA in Detroit, MI.

Player Focus:  Jakub Vrana

Jakub Vrana has been cleared for contact and is almost ready to play his first game of the season for the Red Wings.  Vrana injured his shoulder 10 minutes into his first training camp practice in September, and up to this point, has missed the entire season.

After he was acquired from Washington at the trade deadline last year, Vrana led the Red Wings with eight goals and 11 points in 11 games.  On his return, possibly on Saturday against Toronto, Vrana will likely play on the PP and get a regular shift on the wing with Dylan Larkin and Lucas Raymond.

After this season, Vrana has two years remaining on his current contract before he becomes an UFA.  Vrana has a cap hit of $5.25M annually.

Red Wings Notes

  • Detroit are currently 5th in the Atlantic Division with a 23-22-6 record
  • The Red Wings are currently 26th in PP (16.7%) and 25th in PK (75.9%)
  • Dylan Larkin leads Detroit with 26 goals and 52 points in 46 games
  • Moritz Seider leads the Red Wings with 30 assists in 51 games
  • Seider leads all Detroit defensemen in scoring with five goals and 35 points
  • Tyler Bertuzzi continues to lead the Red Wings with a +12 rating
  • Goaltender Thomas Greiss is expected to start and has a 8-7-1 record, 3.17 GAA, and .902 SV% in 18 games

Detroit Projected Lineup

Forwards

Filip Zadina – Dylan Larkin – Lucas Raymond

Robby Fabbri – Pius Suter – Tyler Bertuzzi

Valdislav Namestnikov – Michael Rasmussen – Adam Erne

Givani Smith – Carter Rowney – Sam Gagner

Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser – Moritz Seider

Marc Staal – Filip Hronek

Nick Leddy – Gustav Lindstrom

Goaltenders

Thomas Greiss (starter)

Alex Nedeljkovic

Not in lineup

Riley Barber (lower body), Jordan Oesterle (healthy), Troy Stecher (healthy), Jakub Vrana (upper body)

Avalanche Notes

  • Colorado are currently 1st in the Western Conference with a 36-10-4 record
  • The Avalanche special teams are currently10th in PP (23.8%) and 21st in PK (77.2%)
  • Nazem Kadri is 4th in NHL scoring and leads Colorado with 42 assists and 63 points in 47 games
  • Mikko Rantanen leads the Avalanche with 26 goals in 47 games
  • Cale Makar leads all Colorado defensemen in scoring with 51 points in 46 games
  • Avalanche defenseman Devon Toews leads all NHL players with a +36 rating
  • Goaltender Pavel Francouz is expected to start and has a 7-2-0 record, 2.39 GAA, a .921 SV%, and two SO in nine games

Colorado Projected Lineup

Forwards

Gabriel Landeskog – Nathan MacKinnon – Mikko Rantanen

Valeri Nichushkin – Nazem Kadri – Andre Burakovsky

Tyson Jost – JT Compher – Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Darren Helm – Alex Newhook – Logan O’Connor

Defensemen

Devon Toews – Cale Makar

Jack Johnson – Samuel Girard

Kurtis MacDermid – Erik Johnson

Goaltenders

Pavel Francouz  (starting)

Darcy Kuemper

Not in lineup

Ryan Murray (healthy), Bowen Byram (head)

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