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The Malik Report

Red Wings-Predators quick take: a gritty win in Nashville

The Red Wings hoped to best one of the NHL's best home teams in the Nashville Predators on Saturday evening, with the Wings trying to sweep the back half of a slate of back-to-back games.

Detroit mucked and ground and worked its way to a 1-0 victory over the Predators, with Petr Mrazek playing absolutely masterfully in a 42-save shutout effort.

While the Red Wings were terrible on the power play (again), out-shot by a significant margin (again) and faced stiff, physical opposition on a night that was, for the most part, "decided by the players," the Wings showed up wearing their work boots, and they ground down the Predators because they scored the game's first goal and hung on when necessary. This game may serve as a template for the efforts Detroit and its goaltenders will have to put in for the remainder of the season, come hell or high water.

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Tomas Jurco trying to overcome frustration

Tomas Jurco's drawing back into the Red Wings' lineup for tonight's game against Nashville, but Jurco isn't particularly happy with his present playing situation, as MLive's Brendan Savage noted:

"It is difficult," said Jurco, who will be playing his third game in a month tonight against the Nashville Predators. "It is hard when you don't play. I'm not going to lie. When I played every game, I didn't feel any pressure and I just played and I had fun.

"But then when you don't play for three weeks, you play a couple games and then you don't play and you play. You're not used to it, you're into the game that much. You're, I wouldn't say stressed out, but it's not like you play. All I gotta do is, like I said, just play hockey. Just be positive and play hockey."

Jurco has been a frequent healthy scratch since missing training camp and the first six weeks of the season after undergoing offseason back surgery. When he was finally cleared to play, Jurco spent two games with the Grand Rapids Griffins - getting one goal and one assist - before rejoining the Red Wings Nov. 29 vs. Dallas.

But he's only played 13 games with the Red Wings and has suited up in just two over the past month.

"Like I said many times, it's sport, it's business," said Jurco, 24. "It's not easy but it is how it is and I just got to work hard and stay positive. I don't know what you guys want me to say. It's tough. Obviously it's not easy. I'm not going to do anything about it and I'm just going to keep going. Just the same thing, stay positive and just play hockey."

Savage continues, sharing Jurco and Jeff Blashill's perspectives on the situation, and he posted a clip of Jurco's comments...

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Howard ready to start for the Griffins

The Grand Rapids Griffins host the Milwaukee Admirals this evening, and in the Griffins' Game-Day Preview video, Jimmy Howard discusses his status as the Griffins' starter tonight:

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Red Wings-Predators game-day Tweets and articles: Mrazek starts instead; Nielsen, Kronwall out

Updated 8x with Predators video at 3:55 PM: The Red Wings and Predators held optional morning skates ahead of tonight's game between the teams (8 PM EST on FSD/FS Tennessee/97.1 FM), but it appears that Petr Mrazek will start for the Wings opposite Pekka Rinne, and the Free Press's Helene St. James reported that Frans Nielsen will miss the game due to an upper-body injury.

After the morning skate, St. James revealed that the Wings will be dealing with another injury, which she reports is a "day-to-day" issue:

Niklas Kronwall out tonight, lower body,

...

Blashill wouldn't say who starts, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Petr Mrazek again

...

Petr Mrazek says he's starting tonight at Nashville

And that likely means that both Nick Jensen and Xavier Ouellet will remain in the lineup despite Brendan Smith's return.

The Detroit News's Ted Kulfan confirmed...

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Red Wings-Predators morning skate Tweets and articles: Coreau starts for DET, Howard for GR

The Red Wings will attempt to buld upon their win over the Islanders as they face off against the Nashville Predators this evening (8 PM EST on FSD/FS Tennessee/97.1 FM).

The Predators hit the ice at Bridgestone Arena for their morning skate just after 11:20 AM, per the Tennessean's Adam Vingan...

Roman Josi is heading to the ice for the Predators' optional AM skate.

...

Roman Josi wouldn't say if he's playing tonight, but Tony Bitetto's still skating. Seems like a good sign that 59 will return.

The Predators' waiver wire player cleared...

The Predators' intention is to assign Mike Ribeiro to AHL Milwaukee. We'll see if he goes. He hasn't played an AHL game since 2002-03.

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Toronto Maple Leafs claim Alexey Marchenko

Not surprising per se, per Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman...

And Sportsnet's Chris Johnston:

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Bounce Finally Goes Detroit’s Way

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

During a difficult season with many deflating goals against late in games, the Detroit Red Wings must have felt the hockey gods owed them one.

Those powers delivered on Friday, as Danny DeKeyser scored with 27.9 seconds to play in the third period for a 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders at Joe Louis Arena.

The Red Wings (21-21-9) stopped a five-game winless skid (0-2-3) by beating a club that had gone 6-0-1 in its previous seven.

It appeared the Islanders might pull out another one when Jason Chimera celebrated his 1,000th game by scoring with 2:26 remaining in regulation, after Darren Helm mishandled the puck near his net.

"Most of the time during the year those even out," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said. "I think that we had some bounces against us lately, so it was nice to see one go in for our side."

continued

Watch the extended game highlights below...

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The overnight report: Red Wings-Islanders wrap-up and Wings-Preds set-up

The Red Wings earned a hard-fought 5-4 victory over the New York Islanders on Friday, snapping a 5-game winless streak, and the Wings will attempt to keep the good times rolling against the Nashville Predators this evening (8 PM EST on FSD/FS Tennessee/97.1 FM).

In terms of Friday night's game, the Red Wings would argue that they've earned the kind of wild bounce that yielded Danny DeKeyser's game-winning goal with 27.9 seconds remaining in regulation; the Islanders rued the play, and felt that Friday's loss was something of a heartbreaker, as they told Newsday's Laura Albanese:

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Red Wings-Islanders quick take: DeKeyser delivers late as Wings win a squeaker

The Detroit Red Wings hoped to dent the streaking New York Islanders' momentum on Friday, with the Islanders coming into Friday's game on a 5-0-and-1 streak.

The Red Wings may or may not have earned all their breaks, but they defeated the Islanders 5-4 thanks to a "pinball shot" by Danny DeKeyser and thanks to a heavy-battling effort by the Red Wings for a full 60 minutes, even though they were on their "back foot" for much of the 3rd period.

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Afternoon news: A Game-Day Preview video; on Howard, Mrazek, the Isles and ‘You Can Play’

The Red Wings face the New York Islanders this evening (7:30 PM EST on FSD Plus/MSG Plus/NHL Network U.S./97.1 FM), and in addition to a slate of game-day articles, more afternoon news has popped up:

1. Here's the Wings' Game-Day Preview video;

2. MLive's Ansar Khan spoke with Jimmy Howard regarding his imminent conditioning stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins...

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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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