Detroit Red Wings look to rebound in Sunrise against the Panthers

DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 31: Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red Wings battles for position with Keith Yandle #3 of the Florida Panthers during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on December 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Panthers defeated the Red Wings 4-3 in a shootout. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - DECEMBER 31: Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red Wings battles for position with Keith Yandle #3 of the Florida Panthers during an NHL game at Little Caesars Arena on December 31, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. The Panthers defeated the Red Wings 4-3 in a shootout. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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After a spirited effort against the NHL’s best yesterday, the Detroit Red Wings will remain in the State of Florida to take on the Panthers in a late afternoon matchup today. The Wings have lost 9 of their last 10 games.

Although the Detroit Red Wings lost to the Lightning they played a very solid game.  That is the way many Detroit fans want to lose at this point of the season.  A lot of the fan base is banging the “lose for Hughes” drum, while many fans don’t necessarily believe in “tanking.”  The tanking group mentions losing won’t guarantee adding Jack Hughes, and they are right.  But losing will give the franchise better odds to land the future star forward.

If the Wings find a way to continue to play in close games, develop their younger players, allowing the fanbase to see growth and excitement.  But happen to come up just short at the end of games would be a win, win situation for the organization.  If they don’t happen to end up with the top pick in the draft the next couple of picks will still allow the team to select a difference maker.  Although the coaching staff was not happy with the effort yesterday the score didn’t get out of hand.

Yesterday Filip Hronek played just over 25 minutes.  It must be a huge boost to his confidence knowing that his coaching staff has grown to trust him during his second call-up.  He and Dennis Cholowski have flip-flopped in my book.

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I still like Cholowski and recognize his talent and potential but Hronek at this point has certainly passed him in the pecking order. While playing 25:08 and recording an assist against the top team in the league, look for Hronek to continue playing as a member of the Detroit Red Wings top defensive pairing for the remainder of the season.

Injuries: The Wings will continue to play today without their leader Dylan Larkin who will miss his third consecutive game with a neck strain.  Mike Green had been the Detroit Red Wings most productive defenseman offensively but will miss the remainder of the season with a virus.  The virus that sidelined Green to start the season has seemed to return.

I hope Larkin is able to return soon as he sits with 27 goals on the season and 62 points.  He’s one point off of his career high set last season and 3 goals away from being the Wings player to score 30 goals in a season since 2009.

What to expect today:  Andreas Athanasiou has been elevated in Larkin’s absence to the top line.  He stole the show at home against the Rangers but faltered some yesterday in Tampa only playing 16:16 TOI.  Frans Nielsen drew the top ice as a center in a tight-checking game against the fierce Tampa Bay offense.  Expect to see a heavy dose of Bertuzzi-Athanasiou-Mantha today against the Panthers.

Expect a heavy dose of Filip Hronek, Danny DeKeyser and Niklas Kronwall today.  Daley and Ericsson combine for about 7 million against the cap and the pair struggled mightily yesterday.  Witkowski drew in over Bowey and surprisingly wasn’t a liability during his 12 in change minutes of work.

Rookie phenom Filip Zadina is having a small two-game point streak.  After scoring his first career NHL goal against the Avs, Zadina followed it up with an assist on Thomas Vanek‘s power-play tally yesterday.  Zadina will look to continue to build on the confidence he’s shown over the past two games and become a constant threat while he’s on the ice.

The Detroit Red Wings projected lineup:

Tyler BertuzziAndreas AthanasiouAnthony Mantha

Thomas VanekFrans Nielsen (A) – Filip Zadina

Darren HelmLuke GlendeningJustin Abdelkader (A)

Christoffer EhnJacob de La RoseMichael Rasmussen

Danny DeKeyser Filip Hronek

Niklas Kronwall (A) – Madison Bowey

Trevor DaleyJonathan Ericsson

Jimmy Howard

Next. Should the Detroit Red Wings re-sign Jimmy Howard?. dark

Location: BB & T Center, Sunrise, FL

Time: 5:00 pm

Watch/Listen: Fox Sports Detroit, Fox Sports Florida, 971 the ticket

Previous ten meetings: Panthers 6-1-1-2

Oddshark Odds: Panthers -225