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The overnight report: Red Wings-Canadiens set-up

The Detroit Red Wings face an incredibly stiff task in battling the 12-1-and-1 Montreal Canadiens this evening (7 PM EDT on FSD/Sportsnet/TVA Sports/97.1 FM).*

Montreal is 9-and-0 at home, and is coming off a 4-1 win over Los Angeles on Thursday, and they've won 3 straight games; the Red Wings sit at 8-6-and-1 after Thursday's 4-1 win over Vancouver, their second win after snapping a 5-game losing streak, and the Wings brought Anthony Mantha up from Grand Rapids to replace the injured Andreas Athanasiou on Friday.

Montreal didn't practice on Friday as they're gearing up for a set of back-to-backs against the Wings tonight and then Chicago on Sunday, but the Montreal Gazette's Pat Hickey cut to the chase in listing "5 things to know" about tonight's game:

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Prospect news: Griffins shut out Rockford; Walleye lose; Holmstrom returns for Skelleftea

Of prospect-related note:

In the AHL, Louis-Marc Aubry, Kyle Criscuolo and Matt Lorito scored goals and Jared Coreau pitched a 30-save shutout as the Grand Rapids Griffins defeated the Rockford IceHogs 3-0. The Griffins' website posted a recap:

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Articles from practice: On Mantha, the Canadiens and injury updates

Updated 3x at 6:36 PM: Of post-practice-related note:

1. The Free Press's George Sipple spoke with Anthony Mantha and Wings coach Jeff Blashill about Mantha's recall from the Grand Rapids Griffins to substitute for Andreas Athanasiou (who's out for 1-2 weeks with a knee injury):

Wings coach Jeff Blashill said he had a similar conversation with Mantha as with Vanek at the start of the season: “Be accountable defensively, win your one-on-one battles and track back to our net hard." If you do those things, his talent will take over," Blashill said. "If he does those, I think he’ll be successful.”

Asked about being sent to Grand Rapids last month, Mantha said: “I won’t lie, it was frustrating. For sure, I wanted to stay here. At the same time, I can’t just sit down and be mad about it. I need to step up and bring my game to another level to have a chance to be called up and I think that’s what I did.”

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Video- Anthony Mantha After Practice Today

George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press talked with Anthony Mantha after practice today.

Watch the video below...

added 2:47pm, Sipple has added this..

Asked about the loss of Athanasiou, Holland said: “Our worry is about the 20 healthy and ready to go tomorrow night. The people that aren’t available, they’re not available. We’re going into Montreal tomorrow. We’ve gotta win a game. So, we’re going to dress 20 guys that we think give us a chance to win a game. I think, if you worry about the guys you lose, it makes it harder to win games.”

Athansiou and Larkin lead the team with four goals scored 5-on-5.

“Andreas was, obviously, starting to play real well here,” Holland said. “He got off to a bit of a slow start. He’s played pretty well here the last few games. Disappointed for Andreas because, when you’ve got a young player and they start feeling their confidence, you like to watch them grow. From a team perspective, I’m expecting that Mantha is going to go into the lineup tomorrow night. It’s an opportunity for somebody else.”


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Here’s the Griffins’ game-day preview video ahead of Friday’s game vs. Rockford

Grand Rapids Griffins announer Bob Kaser is back in Grand Rapids to preview tonight's Griffins-IceHogs game, via RedWingsFeed:

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Practice Tweets: Mantha joins the fray; Zetterberg, Kronwall, Nielsen take ‘maintenance days’

Updated 4x at 1:32 PM: The Red Wings hit the ice at Joe Louis Arena just before 12 PM today, preparing to face a Montreal Canadiens team that's 9-and-0 at home (and 12-1-and- tomorrow evening.

With Andreas Athanasiou on IR, the Wings recalled Anthony Mantha today, and DetroitRedWings.com's Dana Wakiji noted that Mantha made it to Detroit in time for practice:

The Free Press's George Sipple also reported in from practice...

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Jimmy Howard appears on 97.1 the Ticket’s Jamie and Stoney Show

This one comes from a heads-up from WXYZ's Brad Galli...

Jimmy Howard did indeed appear on 97.1 the Ticket's Jamie and Stoney show, and you can listen to the interview here:

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Wings recall Mantha with Athanasiou out

From MLive's Ansar Khan, who reported that Andreas Athanasiou is out for 1-2 weeks with a knee sprain:

Update: The Red Wings confirm...

And here's the press release:

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Khan: Athanasiou out 1-2 weeks with knee sprain

Crap bags:

Here's the hit, via NHL.com's Dave Hogg:

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Steve Ott Chips In With A Goal Plus Extended Game Highlights

from Brendan Savage of Mlive,

Ott bagged his first goal with the Red Wings (8-6-1) with 4:46 left to give them a two-goal cushion that stood up in Detroit's second straight victory that also snapped a four-game home losing streak.

It's been so long since Ott had scored a goal that he couldn't remember exactly when he last did it.

"I don't know," he said with a laugh. "(Coach Ken) Hitchcock didn't let me score in St. Louis. It has been a while and especially through injury and what not. It's fun to chip in. Throughout my career I've been able to somewhat chip in.

"It feels great, to be honest with you, being able to chip in."

Ott, 34, has spent much of his career using his hands to fight rather than score goals.

In 807 career games, he has just 107 goals – his career-high was 22 with Dallas in 2009-10 – while fighting 114 times, according to hockeyfights.com. He has 1,492 career penalty minutes, fourth among all active players.


Watch the extended game highlights below...

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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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