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Reply To: NHL • Thursday Service Plays • 3/10/16

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Preview: Winnipeg at Detroit

When: 7:30 PM ET, Thursday, March 10, 2016
Where: Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

After falling short against one division cellar dweller, the Detroit Red Wings look to get it in gear against another on Thursday when they host the Winnipeg Jets. Detroit suffered its third straight loss and seventh in 10 games on Tuesday with a 5-3 setback to Columbus to remain just two points up on Philadelphia for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

“There’s no easy answer, there’s no magic pill,” coach Jeff Blashill told MLive. “… You come out on Thursday and from the drop of the puck you play your very best. It doesn’t guarantee victory but it gives you the best chance of victory.” Detroit is 5-1-1 in the past seven contests at Joe Louis Arena heading into the opener of its three-game homestand versus Winnipeg. As for the Jets, they wrapped up a five-game homestand with a 1-3-1 mark to make themselves comfortable in the basement of the Central Division. Defenseman Jacob Trouba scored in Tuesday’s 4-2 setback to Nashville and tallied twice in Winnipeg’s 4-1 victory over Detroit on Dec. 29.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, TSN3 (Winnipeg), TVA, FSN Detroit, NHL Network

ABOUT THE JETS (27-34-5): Drew Stafford scored his 17th goal on Tuesday for his third point in four games after mustering just one assist in his previous nine contests. “I do take a lot of pride in being able to produce,” the 30-year-old Stafford told the Winnipeg Sun. “I feel like when I was traded here, I was able to get some of that (goal-scoring) mojo back. I’m a 25-goal scorer, that’s what I am. When I get in that range and am playing with the guys that I’m playing with, I can produce.” Stafford, who is closing in on the 20-goal plateau for the fourth time in his career, set up a pair of tallies in the last meeting with Detroit and has 11 points (three goals, eight assists) in 15 career encounters.

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (32-23-11): Goaltending issues have come to light in Detroit as Jimmy Howard has dropped 10 of his last 11 decisions (1-6-4) with a less-than-desirable 3.36 goals-against average in that stretch. The veteran yielded four goals before earning an early exit in the first meeting versus Winnipeg, although fellow netminder Petr Mrazek earned a quick shower in his last start against Chicago on Sunday. Special teams haven’t been much better of late as the Red Wings have permitted a pair of power-play goals in each of the last three outings after killing off all 17 of their short-handed situations in the previous six games.

OVERTIME

1. Detroit captain Henrik Zetterberg, who had eight shots on goal on Tuesday, has been held off the scoresheet in each of the last eight games.

2. Winnipeg is just 2-for-25 on the power play in the last eight contests.

3. Red Wings C Pavel Datsyuk had an assist versus the Blue Jackets and netted his team’s lone goal in the first meeting against the Jets.

PREDICTION: Red Wings 3, Jets 1