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Red Wings-Rangers game-day articles: Klein returns for NYR; Howard excited to start

Updated 8x at 2:52 PM: The Red Wings will battle the New York Rangers this evening (8 PM EDT on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM), and after the teams' morning skates--an optional one on the Rangers' behalf--NewYorkRangers.com's Matt Calmia updated the Rangers lineup's status:

Kevin Klein will indeed make his season debut for the Rangers tonight when it hosts the Detroit Red Wings at Madison Square Garden.

Klein, who missed the first three games with back spasms, took part in a quick morning skate and is ready to play.

"I am," Klein said when asked if he's anxious to join his teammates. "You go through preseason and you play the preseason games and you're excited to get in there and now I haven't played a game for two weeks. I'm really excited every year, opening up - I didn't get the home opener with the boys. I missed that. This is mine. I'm happy."


With Klein returning to the lineup and McDonagh available, head coach Alain Vigneault said McDonagh would remain paired with Nick Holden, while Klein will be partnered with Marc Staal. Brady Skjei and Adam Clendening will round out the defense.

Henrik Lundqvist is expected to start in net.

Both Pavel Buchnevich (back spasms) and Dan Girardi (groin strain) will miss tonight's game.

On the Rangers' side of the ice, the Rangers' website posted pre-game clips of Kevin Klein...

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Griffins post Mantha’s hat trick video and player intros from their home opener

Via RedWingsFeed, the Grand Rapids Griffins posted a clip of play-by-play announcer Bob Kaser calling Anthony Mantha's hat trick (goals 3, 4 and 5 on the 3-game season) against Iowa last night...

And the Griffins posted their pre-home opener "open" and player introductions. This is also a slick video:

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Red Wings-Rangers morning skate Tweets: Rangers take an optional; prospect talk; Wings’ lineup same

The Detroit Red Wings face off against the New York Rangers for an "NBCSN Rivalry Night Game" tonight at 8 PM EDT (on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM). The Wings will be aiming for their second win of the season and their first at Madison Square Garden in six tries; the Rangers will look to keep the good times rolling after defeating the Sharks 7-4 on Monday.

The Rangers hit the ice first at MSG, per Newsday's Steve Zipay...

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Could’a would’a should’a with Marian Hossa

ESPN's Craig Custance penned an article that may belong in KK Hockey or may fit here at TMR--an article regarding Marian Hossa's winding journey through the NHL to the Chicago Blackhawks. According to Custance, the Red Wings did make Hossa a fair contract offer in the summer of 2009...

After the loss in the finals, Holland met with Red Wings owners Mike Illitch to see if he had the stomach for one more lifetime contract to join Zetterberg and Johan Franzen's long-term deals. Ilitch signed off on the idea and in June, the Red Wings offered Hossa a 12-year contract worth around $4.5 million per season.

Hossa declined.

"He wanted the ability to look around. I said, 'You know what? You gave me a hell of a deal, I have to return the favor,'" Holland said.

He gave Hossa and Winter permission to start talking to other teams.

What if Hossa agrees to that deal? Do the Red Wings win another Cup before Lidstrom retires, or even after?

For Hossa, it was on to the next challenge.

And as Custance continues, he explains that Hossa nearly signed with the Tampa Bay Lightning...

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Detroit’s Top Line Early In The Season

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Three players with much to prove have joined together to form a potent combination for the Detroit Red Wings three games into the season.

Darren Helm's line, with Thomas Vanek and Gustav Nyquist, has been the team's most dangerous unit. That line has been great; game in and game out, they've been our best line even," coach Jeff Blashill said. "Vanek is real strong on the puck. He's won a lot of puck battles. If he does that, he's going to be real successful. Helm's got tons of energy and Nyquie has been real good as well."...

Helm has three goals and four points, Vanek has two goals and five points and Nyquist has three assists.

"I don't know what's clicking," Vanek said. "Each guy brings a little something else. I think Helmer is good on faceoffs, he works hard and obviously (in Monday's 5-1 victory over Ottawa) we saw he can shoot the puck as well. Then I think Nyquie and I can make plays from our off-sides and we can read off each other well. So far it's working good."

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Cotsonika profiles Thomas Vanek and discusses his quest for redemption

As part of their "NBCSN Rivalry Night" coverage, NHL.com posted three articles regarding tonight's Red Wings-Rangers game (8 PM EDT on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM).

In the first article, NHL.com's Kevin Weekes examines "pluses and minuses" for both teams; in the second, NHL.com's John Kreiser offers 5 reasons to watch tonight's game; and the third article, from NHL.com's Nicholas J. Cotsonika, profiles Thomas Vanek, who's trying to find redemption with the Red Wings:

"I wanted Thomas Vanek on this team," [Wings coach Jeff] Blashill said. "He brings an elite offensive ability that's hard to get when you don't draft high. … I just said that I thought the things that he was good at were things that we could really use, and if he worked, if he paid attention to detail, if he played defense, it was going to work out great."

Vanek remained confident in himself. He appreciated those who showed confidence in him and liked the Red Wings' history of cerebral, skilled hockey.

"I still know I can score and make plays in this league," Vanek said. "[When] I know I can't do that, then it's time to retire. I felt good the last two years, but sometimes … It wasn't the right fit for some reason in Minnesota. I think the role I was in wasn't the one I was used to. I'm not faulting them. I had my downs too, and I'll take my share of blame. …

"I talked to several teams at the beginning of the summer. The few I talked to all expressed that they still believed in me, and I think just hearing that motivates you as an athlete. At the end of the day, I just picked Detroit because I liked the way they played in the past, the way they play the game."

Cotsonika continues, explaining why Blashill targeted Vanek...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Rangers set-up

The Detroit Red Wings face off against the New York Rangers this evening (8 PM EDT on NBCSN/TVA Sports/97.1 FM) aiming to win for the first time in six games at Madison Square Garden--and the Wings will be under the spotlight as there are all of 2 NHL games on the schedule this evening.

The 1-and-2 Wings will be facing a 2-and-1 Rangers team that's coming off a 7-4 victory over the San Jose Sharks on Monday.

NewYorkRangers.com's Matt Calamia sets up tonight's game from the Rangers' perspective:

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Prospect news: Mantha scorees hat trick vs. Iowa; Walleye beat Cincinnati; Ehn scores a goal

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, the Grand Rapids Griffins rallied from 1-0 and 3-1 deficits thanks to an Anthony Mantha hat trick, but Kyle Criscuolo snapped a 3-3 tie with just under 4 minutes remaining to earn the Griffins a 4-3 victory over the Iowa Wild. The Wild's website posted a recap and a highlight clip:

Update: Here's the Griffins website's recap:

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Wings hope team defense, good offensive chemistry will carry the day vs. the Rangers

The "NBC Rivalry Night" spiel might be overblown given that the Red Wings and New York Rangers don't have much of a rivalry, but the Red Wings don't do a lot of winning in New York City, and DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji notes that tomorrow night's opponent poses a stiff challenge:

After facing the Tampa Bay Lightning, Florida Panthers and Ottawa Senators, there's no break for the Wings as they face the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

The Rangers scored seven goals in a 7-4 win over the San Jose Sharks Monday and are tied for the league lead in goals with 14.

"I think for us to be successful we have to play on our toes without giving up easy chances," [coach Jef] Blashill said. "I think our D zone took a good step in the right direction last night. Our breakouts have overall been pretty good. We have to continue to play on our toes and not be giving up those chances. Every game in this league I think is a tough, tough challenge. I think tomorrow night will be a tough, tough challenge. It's just the reality of the league. We've got to play our best hockey every night in order to give ourselves a chance to win."

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Grand Rapids Griffins-Iowa Wild game previews

The Grand Rapids Griffins may be away from home, but they sure do a fine job of setting up the evening's events via Twitter and video. Tonight, the Griffins are in Iowa to play Derek Lalonde's Iowa Wild. The Griffins and announcer Bob Kaser teamed up to prepare fans for the evening's away game:

Here's former Griffins captain Jeff Hoggan, who now plays for Iowa...

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About The Malik Report

The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.


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