Every point is crucial for the Detroit Red Wings over the remaining 12 games of the season and they must earn two points against the Columbus Blue Jackets. A quarter of a century playoff streak is on the line for the Wings and as of now, they are on the outside looking in.
Their recent loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, a 4-3 devastating blow, knocked them out of a playoff position as they are now one point behind Philadelphia in the standings for the final wild card spot. Philadelphia holds a game in hand and it is highly unlikely Detroit is able to clinch a spot within their division as they sit six points behind the 3rd place Tampa Bay Lightning.
Whether the pressure is being felt by Detroit Red Wings remains to be seen but they haven’t come through as of late in crucial games down the stretch. They lost their last match-up to Columbus 5-3 earlier in March at Nationwide Arena and must rely on their success on the road this season as this match-up will be in Columbus once again.
Petr Mrazek will not start in net as he is sick so Jimmy Howard will get the nod. Howard made 27 saves on 31 shots in his last game against Columbus. Detroit called up goaltender Jared Coreau from the Grand Rapids Griffins this morning to serve as Howard’s back-up tonight. If Detroit has any hope in keeping their playoff streak alive, they must beat teams lower than them in the standings to boost their point total and tonight could be a deciding game. Coverage begins at 7 p.m.