DETROIT, MI - MARCH 05: Jimmy Howard #35 of the Detroit Red Wings makes a save as Ryan O'Reilly #90 of the Colorado Avalanche crashes the net during a NHL game at Joe Louis Arena on March 5, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images)

NHL on NBCSN: Red Wings aim to shake ugly loss tonight vs Avs

NBCSN’s ongoing coverage of the 2013 campaign will continue tonight when the Detroit Red Wings host the Colorado Avalanche at Joe Louis Arena at 7:30 p.m. ET.

The Red Wings are only on a two-game losing streak, but it seems worse after their ugly 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks yesterday.

“Ugly is an understatement,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said in a Detroit News report. “Obviously, preparation and work ethic are two things you need to be successful in any walk of life, and we weren’t prepared and didn’t compete at a high enough level.”

On top of that, Detroit was playing without captain Henrik Zetterberg due to a groin injury and he might miss tonight’s game as well.

With or without him, the Red Wings need to put that loss behind them and beat the Colorado Avalanche. Otherwise Detroit might see its narrow lead on the eighth seed slip away.

The Red Wings are three points ahead of the ninth place San Jose Sharks, but Detroit has also played in two more games. Meanwhile, the Avalanche are dead last in the Western Conference, making them one of the few teams that aren’t still in the battle for a playoff spot.

The Avalanche have won just two of their last 10 games, but they proved that they weren’t going to just roll over with their 1-0 overtime victory against the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

“It’s been a tough stretch here, the last little while, but not many times have we had a complaint about effort, or work,” Avalanche coach Joe Sacco told the Denver Post after their win on Saturday. “This afternoon we got rewarded. I thought we played really hard.”

We’ll see if that effort is enough to add to Detroit’s woes, or if the Red Wings will shake off their embarrassing loss and beat Colorado.

Probable goaltenders: DET – Jimmy Howard (14-10-4, 2.47 GAA, .915 SV%) | COL – Semyon Varlamov (10-16-3, 2.93 GAA, .906 SV%)

Top scorers: DET – Pavel Datsyuk (11-24-35, 34 GP) | COL – P.A. Parenteau – (14-21-35, 34 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Detroit – Forwards: Mikael Samuelsson (upper body), Zetterberg (groin), Todd Bertuzzi (back) Defenseman: Kyle Quincey (face)
Colorado – Forwards: Milan Hejduk (shoulder), David Jones (knee), Paul Stastny (foot), Steve Downie (knee) Defenseman: Ryan Wilson (ankle)

Here’s your Stanley Cup playoffs schedule for tonight

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After three full days without NHL action, the Stanley Cup Final between the Pittsburgh Penguins and San Jose Sharks will get underway tonight. You can watch the game via the NBC Sports Group’s television and digital platforms.

San Jose at Pittsburgh (8:00 p.m. ET)

The television broadcast of Game 1 will be on NBC. To stream the contest using the Live Extra app, click here.

We wrote a lot about this series over the weekend. If you haven’t taken a look yet, here are the relevant links:

Penguins or Sharks? PHT makes its Stanley Cup Final picks

Penguins, Sharks discuss bumpy road to Stanley Cup Final

Yes, Thornton and Marleau have been dreaming of a run like this

Sharks and DeBoer ready for Pittsburgh, ‘the fastest team in the league’

Fleury: Now’s not the time to think about future in Pittsburgh

Should Lightning trade Bishop and hand the torch to Vasilevskiy?

Pittsburgh Med: Bonino ‘fine,’ Letang MIA and Daley not ruling out a return (Update)

Matt Nieto should be available to play in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final

Subtle but effective offseason pushed Sharks to next level

Report: Semin will stay in KHL for 2016-17

OTTAWA, ON - OCTOBER 11:  Alexander Semin #13 of the Montreal Canadiens skates during the NHL game against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on October 11, 2015 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.  The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Ottawa Senators 3-1.  (Photo by Minas Panagiotakis/Getty Images)
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It seems there will be no NHL comeback attempt by Alex Semin. At least not in 2016-17.

Instead, Semin has inked a one-year extension with Magnitogorsk Metallurg, according to Sport-Express writer Igor Eronko.

At 32 years old, Semin still could have a lot of years left in him as a professional hockey player, but at this point it wouldn’t be surprising if he has played in his last NHL game. Early in his career his talent was clear and demonstrated by some great showings offensively, but he was plagued by inconsistency. In recent years though, he wasn’t so much inconsistent as he was underwhelming.

After being limited to six goals and 19 points in 57 games with Carolina in 2014-15, the one-time 40-goal scorer was bought out of his five-year, $35 million contract just two seasons into it. Montreal took a chance on him for 2015-16, but he only appeared in 15 games with the Canadiens before they put him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 9.

He’s fared better in the KHL though, with five goals and 14 points in 20 regular season games followed by another seven markers and 15 points in 23 playoff contests.

PHT Morning Skate: Predicting the 2016 Stanley Cup Final

San Jose Sharks center Joe Pavelski celebrates after scoring a goal against the Minnesota Wild duyring the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 23, 2016, in San Jose, Calif. San Jose won 4-3. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)
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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

Among the 21 NHL.com and NHL Network experts offering their prediction for the Stanley Cup Final, 17 of them are choosing the San Jose Sharks. (NHL.com)

The majority of ESPN’s experts are also picking the Sharks. (ESPN.com)

For CBS Sports, Adam Gretz and Chris Peters are split on the outcome. (CBS Sports)

Tickets for the first Stanley Cup Final in San Jose appear to be going for significantly more than their Pittsburgh Penguins counterparts. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Inspired by John Scott‘s comments, here’s the start of a World Cup All-Snubs’ team. (TSN)

Peter DeBoer said that then New Jersey Devils GM Lou Lamoriello fired him from the Devils’ head coaching job late at night on Christmas. The news then broke on Dec. 26. (Tom Gulitti)

Vegas tabs Joe Pavelski as Conn Smythe frontrunner

SAN JOSE, CA - MAY 21:  Joe Pavelski #8 of the San Jose Sharks awaits a face off against the St. Louis Blues in game four of the Western Conference Finals during the 2016 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on May 21, 2016 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The Pittsburgh Penguins are Vegas favorites to win the 2016 Stanley Cup, but the odds lean toward a San Jose Sharks player capturing the Conn Smythe.

Bovada released a variety of odds on Sunday after others surfaced on Friday.

Joe Pavelski is pegged as a +400 favorite as a winner, edging some other top candidates such as Sidney Crosby, Phil Kessel and Matt Murray.

Here’s the full list:

Pavelski +400
Crosby +500
Kessel +500
Murray +500
Logan Couture +500
Martin Jones +600
Brent Burns +700
Joe Thornton +900
Evgeni Malkin +900
Kris Letang +1400

Bovada also released prop bets, including how long the series might last. Check that out here.