Offense has disappeared in the last two games for the Detroit Red Wings after being shutout by Columbus and Nashville. Tonight against the Rangers they’ll get a key piece to their offensive game back tonight in Pavel Datsyuk.
Datsyuk has been out since December 22nd and missed 19 games with a broken hand. In that time, Detroit has gone 10-7-2 and with their recent offensive woes have seemed worse for wear without Datsyuk. Injury problems have plagued the Red Wings lately but with Dan Cleary returning recently and Datsyuk back now things are getting better.
Tomas Holmstrom and Brad Stuart will be back soon as well for Detroit. In the meantime, they’ll have to do their part to hold off the Nashville Predators who lay in wait in second place in the Central Division.
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It’s going to be interesting to see if Hammond can replicate the success he had last season, when he came out of nowhere to go 20-1-2 with a 1.79 GAA and .941 save percentage, and finish seventh in Vezina voting.