The Detroit Red Wings are still battling for a playoff spot and tonight they'll take on the Pittsburgh Penguins in NHL Hockey action. The game is scheduled for an 8 p.m. start time and it will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network. Currently the odds for the game have Pittsburgh as a solid favorite at home over Detroit.
The Red Wings and Penguins have each picked up a victory against each other this season. Tonight's rubber match should be an interesting one to watch as the Red Wings are looking to punch their ticket into the NHL Playoffs. Detroit's magic number is down to just one point and they have three games remaining on the regular season schedule.
Detroit has won five of their last six games overall and knocked off the Buffalo Sabres 4-2 last night. The Red Wings have been an OK team on the road this season, winning 20 games against 15 losses. Detroit is looking to get their biggest win of the season with a victory tonight over Pittsburgh.
In the last 10 games overall, Detroit comes in 6-3-1 while Pittsburgh is just 5-5. They have been dominant at home so far this season, sporting a record of 27-9-2. Pittsburgh has the second seed in the Eastern Conference wrapped up, with 105 points to date. The Boston Bruins have already recorded 114 points. Detroit, prior to tonight's contest, sits in seventh place overall in the Eastern Conference.
Detroit could take on Pittsburgh in the opening round of the playoffs.
Sidney Crosby has eclipsed the 100-point plateau once again this season. Evgeni Malkin, the other Pittsburgh great, has been sidelined since March 23 because of a foot injury. They haven't picked an official return for Malkin to the team, but it's hard to imagine them getting to the playoffs and him not being able to go. He's currently skating, but has not participated in full contact practices.
The Red Wings got Pavel Datsyuk back from an injury, but they're still without captain Henrik Zetterberg, who had back surgery after an injury that occurred during the Olypmics. Youngster Gustav Nyquist has picked up some of the scoring slack, leading the Red Wings with 28 goals to this point in the season. His play has really lit a spark into the Red Wings, who hold the first wild card spot in the East.
Marc-Andre Fleury should play tonight for the Penguins in net. He's already won 38 games this season with a 2.34 goals-against this season. Detroit's Jimmy Howard played last night in a victory where he had 25 saves. He has struggled at times this season, but it the Red Wings' best option in net. Look for him to get the start in between the pipes.
Overall, Detroit needs this win more than Pittsburgh. We think this has a chance to get to overtime and will be a fun game to watch.
Free Pick: Detroit 3, Pittsburgh 2
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