Red Wings faced with daunting task as they look to get back on track

Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports
Jamie Sabau-USA TODAY Sports /

Things won’t be easy for the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday night as they look to get back on track in Boston following an uninspiring loss to the New Jersey Devils at home earlier in the week.

The Detroit Red Wings will be without one-third of their ‘redwoods’ line as Oskar Sundqvist will be sidelined Thursday evening with an upper-body injury. The injury isn’t considered serious at this time, and it is something the veteran forward has tried to play through.

Sundqvist, 6-foot-3, is having a good start to the 2022-23 season, playing on Detroit’s third line alongside 6-foot-6 center Michael Rasmussen and 6-foot-8 rookie Elmer Soderblom. The trio combined for four goals and 12 points over the season’s first six games.

Sundqvist had been averaging just over 15 minutes of ice time per game and contributed a pair of points on the power-play. His most famous tally to date was his game-tying goal against Los Angeles to force overtime moments following captain Dylan Larkin’s heroic sprawling effort to prevent an empty net goal.

The Detroit Red Wings have recalled forward Matt Luff from Grand Rapids.

Matt Luff will be inserted into the lineup Thursday night in Boston. Luff is expected to skate on Detroit’s fourth line alongside Pius Suter and Filip Zadina.

Luff is off to a hot start in Grand Rapids, having recorded three goals and seven points in five games with the Griffins this season. Luff has 87 career NHL games under his belt, spanning from 2018-2021 with the Kings and, most recently, the Nashville Predators last season. Over that time, Luff, 25,  has totaled 23 points, including 13 goals.

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Following Detroit’s 6-2 loss to New Jersey earlier this week, head coach Derek Lalonde began shuffling the deck at practice. Lalonde has elevated veteran winger David Perron to the top unit alongside Dylan Larkin and the red-hot Dominik Kubalik.

The second unit will feature Lucas Raymond, Andrew Copp, and Joe Veleno. It appears as though coach Lalonde is rewarding Veleno for his positive efforts over the first few games of the season. He’s been very noticeable over the first six games and will be in more of an offensive role in Boston. As previously mentioned, it is at Zadina’s expense for the time being. Detroit is looking for a spark. Erne will replace Sundqvist on Detroit’s third line.

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The Boston Bruins enter the night with a stellar 6-1-0 record. Heading into the contest, the Bruins will also get their star forward Brad Marchand back from injury a month ahead of schedule. The 34-year-old ultra pest had been recovering from double hip surgery.

The Bruins take a league-leading 30 goals for into the matchup to Detroit’s 22, which rank 15th. Boston has allowed 20 goals against on the season (14th), while Detroit has yielded 18, which ranks 10th best across the league.

The puck drop is set for 7 pm Est. Watch on Bally Sports Detroit, and listen on 97.1 The Ticket.