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Red Wings-Islanders game-day updates: Nabokov vs. Gustavsson in the nets, Vanek out, Alfredsson iffy

Updated 8x at 2:34 PM: The Detroit Red Wings need to rebound from their latest home setback against the Washington Capitals when they tangle with the New York Islanders this evening (7 PM EST, FSD/MSG Plus/97.1 FM), and the Islanders report that the Wings won't have to battle Thomas Vanek this evening, but they will have to solve an alumnus of a sort:

#Isles forward @T_Vanek26 is on the ice for morning skate. Game status update to come shortly from HC Jack Capuano.


Capuano: Nabokov in goal tonight. Same #Isles skaters as the last game meaning Vanek remains day-to-day.

NHL.com's John Kreiser reminds us why the Wings needed to get away from Joe Louis Arena so very desperately...

Detroit Red Wings at New York Islanders -- The Red Wings probably are happy to be on the road; they're winless in their past seven (0-1-6) at Joe Louis Arena, including a 4-3 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday in which they couldn't hold a 3-1 lead in the third period. The good news was that Johan Franzen scored twice and Detroit got all three goals from its secondary scorers. The Islanders know about problems at home; they're coming off a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday in which they blew a 2-0 third-period lead. New York has dropped five of its past six games.

The Red Wings' Game Day Blog offers something of a game-framing preview...

Long Island Bound

While the Red Wings have at least one point in eight of its past 10 games, they'll look to get two in the W column tonight in New York. Detroit is probably glad to hit the road; the Wings have struggled at home of late, including a 4-3 shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on Friday. The Islanders are coming off a lost third-period lead of their own; they saw a 2-0 advantage turn into a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Thursday.

The most optimistic note for Detroit was that it scored three goals against Washington without getting any from its top line. Johan Franzen scored twice, matching his production through Detroit's first 19 games, and set up defenseman Danny DeKeyser's goal late in the second period.

"We got two out of (Franzen)... that’s good secondary scoring," coach Mike Babcock said. "Normally when we’ve gotten any secondary scoring we’ve been able to win the game. I thought that was a positive thing for us. I thought our power play was good too. But we need to find a way to get one more to win the game. That's the bottom line.

And I believe that I'm allowed to pick on the Capitals' PR staff for a doofy typo:

The Washington Capitals defeated the Detroit Red Wings 4-3 (SO) at Joe Lewis Arena last night. The win improved Washington to 6-1-1 this month and 11-8-1 this season. The Capitals franchise record for highest winning percentage in the month of November is .786, accomplished when Washington went 10-2-2 in Nov. 2010. The Capitals have posted a .813 winning percentage this month and have seven games remaining in November.

News from the Wings' morning skate hit quickly, and it appears that we'll have to wait until just before puck drop to find out whether the Wings will require Luke Glendening's services this evening (as the Wings recalled him thanks to Daniel Alfredsson missing last night's game with a tweake-during-the-warm-up groin issue), per the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...

Alfie is a gametime decision...Glendening is being recalled just in case...Gustavsson is starting

And MLive's Brendan Savage:

Gustavsson starting for #RedWings; Alfredsson a game-time decision

Optional skate for the Wings this morning? You bet:

On ice for #RedWings: Gustavsson, Howard, Weiss, Smith

For the record, Wings prospect Mattias Janmark missed a pair of games for AIK Stockholm after suffering a knee injury while playing for Sweden at the Karjala Cup, but he's back in the lineup, and he's registered an assist in AIK's in-progress game against Frolunda today.

In the Twitter department...

Update #1: Via RedWingsFeed, I can only say "wow" to this pair of Tweets from Capgeek:

#NHL #RedWings Luke Glendening is a cap-exempt recall due to a "roster emergency." Read about the new CBA rule here: http://capgeek.com/faq/how-can-teams-receive-cap-relief-during-roster-emergencies


It's believed Glendening is the first player ever recalled using this CBA rule, although one may have previously snuck through the cracks.

Update #2: Here's more about Alfredsson from the Detroit News's Ted Kulfan...

Alfie says he will take the pregame skate and see how it goes

And more from MLive's Brendan Savage:

Alfredsson said he'll see how he feels when he returns tonight before making a decision on whether to play

Update #2.5: According to the Islanders website's game notes, Dean Morton and Kelly Sutherland will referee tonight's game, with Brian Mach and Kiel Murchison working the lines.

Update #3: NewYorkIslanders.com's Cory Wright penned a slate of "Morning SKate Updates":

Lineup Notes/Changes: The Islanders are sticking with the same skaters Saturday night, with the only change coming in goal. Evgeni Nabokov will start and head coach Jack Capuano did not reveal his line combinations.

Vanek Out: Thomas Vanek was on the ice at today’s morning skate, but isn’t dressing for tonight’s game and is still considered day-to-day.

Black Jerseys: The Islanders will wear their black jerseys tonight for the second time this season.

Point Streak: With an assist Thursday, John Tavares extended his point streak to four games (one goal/five assists) and he has 10 points in eight games to start November. Must be the mustache.

From the Coach: Tonight is about what we have to do. We had good meetings after the LA game and understand what happened in the third period. It was a function of us not moving our feet. We are not a team that wants to sit back; we want to play on our toes. In the third period, you didn’t see that from us as much. That’s something we have to be better at for sure.

Frans Nielsen on Pavel Datsyuk and tonight’s game: He does some pretty amazing stuff at a high pace out there. He’s one of my favorite players, just really entertaining to watch. They have a lot of skill over there, so we have to be ready. We can’t get outworked or we are going to be in trouble. It’s going to fun out there. It’ll be a hard battle, but it’s going to be fun.

Update #4: NHL.com suggests that the Islanders will dress the following lineup:

Here is the likely lineup for the Islanders:

Brock Nelson - John Tavares - Kyle Okposo

Pierre-Marc Bouchard - Frans Nielsen - Josh Bailey

Michael Grabner - Peter Regin - Colin McDonald

Matt Martin - Casey Cizikas - Cal Clutterbuck

Andrew MacDonald - Travis Hamonic

Thomas Hickey - Matt Donovan

Aaron Ness - Matt Carkner

Evgeni Nabokov

Kevin Poulin

Scratched: Eric Boulton, Radek Martinek

Injured: Thomas Vanek (upper body), Lubomir Visnovsky (concussion), Brian Strait (upper body)

Update #5: Via RedWingsFeed, here's MLive's Brendan Savage's game-day update:

Goaltender Jonas Gustavsson will be making his first appearance for the Detroit Red Wings since Oct. 23 when he starts tonight against the New York Islanders.

Staying sharp during such a long layoff isn't easy for anyone but it can be especially difficult for a goalie.

"You just got to go 100 percent in practices," Gustavsson said after the Red Wings' morning skate at the Nassau Coliseum. "Play like it is a game and that way you can be ready for games. I'm looking forward to it. It's a chance for me to keep working on my game and try to help the team get some wins."


[H]e'll be attempting to help the Red Wings end a seven-game skid (0-1-6) against a team that has beaten them in five of their last six meetings since the lockout that canceled the 2004-05 season.

The Islanders have outscored the Red Wings 22-9 in that span and blew them out 5-1 and 6-0 during the last two meetings on Long Island. The Islanders have won four straight over the Red Wings since Detroit's last victory on Jan. 30, 2007.

All things considered, is Gustavsson feeling any pressure?

"There's always pressure," he said. "But I think you feel the most pressure from yourself. You always want to play good. That's something that drives you. It's not different than any other game. You go out there and try to do your best."

Update #6: Here's more from Savage on Daniel Alfredsson:

Alfredsson was at the Nassau Coliseum this morning but didn't take part in the Red Wings' pregame skate and said won't know his status until he reports back to the arena for the 7 p.m. faceoff.

"We'll see later," Alfredsson said. "Come back this afternoon and go from there. We'll see when I come back tonight, reevaluate it and then go from there."

Alfredsson said he'll be reevaluated before warmups tonight.

The Red Wings were forced to play with 11 forwards Friday in a 4-3 shootout loss to Washington because they had sent Luke Glendening down to Grand Rapids before Alfredsson's groin started acting up before the game.

"I felt pretty good," Alfredsson said. "Practice the other day was fine and then warming up before the game ... I felt where I was that if I go out and play, it will jeopardize it further. Groins is not something I've had a problem with throughout my career and it's not something I expect will cause trouble down the road. You look after it now and when you come back, it's over and done with."

Update #7: The Red Wings' website's Game Day Blog offers a historical note...

On This Day in Red Wings' History...On November 16, 1977

In a game played at Olympia Stadium, the Red Wings destroy the St. Louis Blues, 10-1, in Detroit’s most lopsided victory of the season.

And here are Ken Kal's Keys to the Game:

Get Off to a Good Start - The Wings have started slow the past two times out on the Island and it cost them. We need to put the pedal to the metal right from the opening face off.

Take it to their D - The Islanders have some young blueliners. Detroit needs to work them hard by making them skate in their defensive zone and tire them out.

Finish - Play a complete game, a full 60 minutes. Get the lead and keep it.

Update #8: Here's the Islanders' game-day set-up video--and it includes comments from Chris Osgood:

Filed in: | The Malik Report | Permalink


Red Winger's avatar

Hope the Wings can get it done without Howard in net

Posted by Red Winger from Sault Ste Marie, MI on 11/16/13 at 12:20 PM ET


Maybe the key to stopping a losing streak is to start the goalie who hasn’t lost yet this season.

Posted by Garth on 11/16/13 at 01:26 PM ET

George Malik's avatar

The Wings need Gus to step up, and everyone in front of him needs to step up, or it’s not going to matter whether Gustavsson’s fresh or Howard’s been playing mentally burnt-out hockey of late.

Posted by George Malik from South Lyon, MI on 11/16/13 at 01:47 PM ET

DocF's avatar

Quoting George Malik, who is sounding more wise than the coach, “The Wings need Gus to step up, and everyone in front of him needs to step up, or it’s not going to matter whether Gustavsson’s fresh or Howard’s been playing mentally burnt-out hockey of late.”

The reason Howard has been looking a bit shaky of late is that he has been bombed worse than Dresden (I know that is politically incorrect, but it is the truth, account lack of focus by the skaters in front of him.

Note to those who are down of Miller:  Watch his face when a goal is scored by the opponents while he is on the ice.  The look of disgust at the lack of concentration by others is telling.

Let us get our team back on track tonight.  I fear, though, that this will be another case of the Red Wings playing down to the level of a lesser opponent.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 11/16/13 at 04:15 PM ET

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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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