Updated with somewhat positive news on Dylan Larkin at 12:53 PM: The Detroit Red Wings will face off against the Dallas Stars tonight for Game 2 of their home-and-still-at-home series (8:30 PM EST on FSD Plus/FS SW/97.1 FM). Detroit is seeking a split after losing the first game of the series 2-1 in overtime.
All of the Stars’ injured/sidelined players that were iffy for tonight’s game–Jamie Benn, Roope Hintz and Blake Comeau–hit the ice just before the Stars’ morning skate, which took place at 10 AM CST:
Roope Hintz is on the ice for morning skate— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) January 28, 2021
Roope Hintz, Blake Comeau and Alexander Radulov are on the ice for what appears to be an optional morning skate.— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) January 28, 2021
Jamie Benn and Blake Comeau on the ice for pregame skate— Bruce LeVine (@BruceLeVinePuck) January 28, 2021
Roope Hintz is out there as well
Stars are skating in their neon equipment (gloves, pants). They will debut the blackout jerseys tonight— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) January 28, 2021
Looks like the Wings are getting backup-ed:
Jake Oettinger is first off the ice at morning skate, so it looks like he will get his first NHL start tonight.— Mike Heika (@MikeHeika) January 28, 2021
This is a logical move:
My two cents: It makes all the sense in the world to give Oettinger his first NHL start tonight, with the team 3-0 and at home in a comfortable environment. https://t.co/jxyjn6qcms— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) January 28, 2021
So much for the miraculous comeback brigade, though:
Hintz, Comeau and Benn are skating with the taxi squad (Robertson, Harley, Honka, Bow) and scratches (Fedun, Hanley), so wouldn’t expect them to play against Detroit tonight. #BellLetsTalk— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) January 28, 2021
Jamie Benn and Blake Comeau are out tonight, Roope Hintz TBD, per Bowness— Saad Yousuf (@SaadYousuf126) January 28, 2021
Bowness on the Blackout uniforms: “Judy went out and bought me a new tie to match. I like the uniforms. I think they’re great, they look great. I think I’m wearing my green tie tonight. Whatever she leaves out when I go home, I wear. She was out looking for that green tie.”— Matthew DeFranks (@MDeFranks) January 28, 2021
#GoStars Thursday Morning Skate Update:
• Jake Oettinger with make his regular season NHL debut tonight, also his first NHL start, against the Red Wings. Oettinger, 22, made 2 appearances during the Bubble Playoffs totaling 36:40 TOI.
• Jamie Benn & Blake Comeau remain out.— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) January 28, 2021
• Roope Hintz skated this morning & will be a game-time decision. This was his first skate since Tuesday’s morning skate.
• Depending on whether Hintz plays or not, Joel L’Esperance could make his season debut for Dallas (he has 3 goals in 21 career NHL GP, all for the Stars).— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) January 28, 2021
Based on practice yesterday, if Hintz doesn’t play, lines could look like this tonight:
Dickinson – Dowling – Gurianov
Kero – Pavelski – Radulov
Cogliano – Faksa – Dellandrea
Caamano – Gardner – L’Esperance
Lindell – Klingberg
Oleksiak – Heiskanen
Sekera – Pysyk
Oettinger— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) January 28, 2021
The Red Wings did hold some sort of morning skate, but without a local press corps in Dallas due to travel restrictions, and the Wings’ Twitter account posting a modicum of news, we had to wait for updates regarding the Wings’ roster.
We got a couple…
Meanwhile, the Stars posted videos of coach Rick Bowness and Dennis Gurianov speaking with the media:
Also of note from the Stars’ website:
The Stars come into Thursday’s matchup riding a five-game home winning streak (5-0-0) against Detroit, while also earning points in each of the last seven games (5-0-2) against them at American Airlines Center.
Dallas owns a 6-2-0 record over its last eight games against the Red Wings and has points in eight of the last 11 (7-3-1) against them.
Defenseman John Klingberg shared the team lead on Tuesday night with two points (1-1=2) against the Red Wings. Klingberg has now registered nine points (3-6=9) over his last seven games against Detroit, including logging points (3-2=5) in three of his last four against them at home.
Forward Denis Gurianov registered two assists (0-2=2) in Tuesday’s contest, marking his first career points against the Red Wings.
Netminder Anton Khudobin turned aside 20 of the 21 shots he faced against Detroit on Tuesday night. Khudobin comes into Thursday’s tilt having won each of his last two (2-0-0), and three of his last four games (3-1-0) against the Red Wings.
Jeff Blashill says he anticipates Dylan Larkin will play tonight.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) January 28, 2021
Also anticipates Helm will be available.— Daniella Bruce (@daniellabruce_) January 28, 2021
Per Jeff Blashill, Dylan Larkin and Darren Helm are game-time decisions for Red Wings tonight at Dallas.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) January 28, 2021
#RedWings Blashill said he anticipates Dylan Larkin and Darren Helm playing tonight in Dallas but won’t know for sure until tonight. Both dealing with injuries/illness.— Ansar Khan (@AnsarKhanMLive) January 28, 2021
#LGRW Thursday Morning Skate Update:
• Per HC Jeff Blashill, Dylan Larkin and Darren Helm are both game-time decisions. Blashill said he anticipates Larkin will play, but is not totally certain, while he is “hopeful” that Helm will play.
• 5 players remain in Covid Protocol.— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) January 28, 2021
• Blashill said DET goalie coach Jeff Salajko, along with their AHL goalie coach, have put together the scouting book on Jake Oettinger, primarily utilizing video clips from his AHL games, since he hasn’t started a full NHL game yet. They also have scouting from college & USNTDP— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) January 28, 2021
• On the fans at the AAC on Tuesday, Blashill said the “5,000 felt like 15,000” and mentioned it was a huge contrast from the empty building in Chicago.
• Blashill also congratulated long time DET goaltender Jimmy Howard on a great career (who announced his retirement today).— Owen Newkirk (@OwenNewkirk) January 28, 2021