Mike Halford

ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 19: Patrik Berglund #21 of the St. Louis Blues checks Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red wings into the boards at the Scottrade Center on January 19, 2013 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
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WATCH LIVE: Blues at Red Wings on Rivalry Night


A classic Norris Division matchup goes tonight at Joe Louis when the Red Wings host the Blues for the second meeting this year between the clubs. You can catch the game on NBCSN at 8 p.m. ET, or watch online with NBC Sports’ Live Extra.


In the first meeting of the year, the Red Wings scored a 4-3 OT win over the Blues at Scottrade, thanks to a Teemu Pulkkinen winner at 3-on-3. Pavel Datsyuk, Luke Glendening and Dylan Larkin also scored and Jimmy Howard made 30 saves for the Red Wings.

Howard, however, will be watching from the bench tonight as the Wings continue to ride the red-hot Petr Mrazek in goal.

For the Blues, Kyle Brodziak, Jori Lehtera and Vladimir Tarasenko scored last time out, while Jake Allen made 28 saves. Not unlike Detroit, St. Louis will also have a different goalie in net tonight — Allen’s out injured, which means Brian Elliott will continue to carry the mail.

Some relevant linkage for tonight’s affair:

Detroit loses Kronwall (2-4 weeks), Miller (4-6 months) to knee injuries

Stastny’s four-point night powers Blues past Pens

Bolts suspend Drouin after failing to report for AHL game (Update: Agent responds)


From the Lightning:

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin has been suspended indefinitely without pay by the team after his failure to report for tonight’s game between the Syracuse Crunch and the Toronto Marlies, vice president and general manager Steve Yzerman announced this evening.

The team will make no further comment at this time.

Drouin’s absence from tonight’s game made quite a bit of noise on social media, as many suggested it could be a precursor to the trade he demanded weeks ago.

He was reportedly present at this morning’s skate and, per Sportsnet, is actually at the Marlies’ arena tonight with Syracuse’s other scratches:

The 20-year-old, taken third overall at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft, had appeared in seven games for the Crunch since his contention demotion, scoring two goals and three points — and, according to head coach Rob Zettler, had been a good teammate thus far.

“He’s been fitting in well. Off the ice, he’s been great, doing a lot of stuff with his teammates,” Zettler said on Monday, per Syracuse.com. “The best part about Jo’s game, he’s really been aware of and working hard at defending down low, because he’s playing center and he’s getting a lot of minutes playing against some good guys. He’s done a real good job of that.”

UPDATE: Drouin’s agent, Allan Walsh, has issued the following statement…


Video: Stralman, Tarasenko, Bennett star in Goals of the Week

A trio of deft individual efforts highlight the latest installment of Goals of the Week, punctuated by Sam Bennett‘s four-marker effort against the Panthers.


Goalie nods: Detroit keeps rolling with red-hot Mrazek

Petr Mrazek
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No surprise, but the Red Wings will give Petr Mrazek yet another start tonight when they host the Blues at Joe Louis.

Mrazek, who’s wrestled Detroit’s No. 1 gig away from Jimmy Howard, will look to build upon a remarkable month of January, during which he’s gone 5-0-1 with a 1.31 GAA and .957 save percentage.

While those numbers might — nay, are — impossible to keep up, Detroit head coach Jeff Blashill sees them as a sign of Mrazek’s arrival as a top-flight NHL netminder.

“His save percentage in January is phenomenal, [but] that can’t sustain itself,” said Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill, per ESPN. “I do think this is what he is as a goalie. I think he’s really, really growing into an elite goalie.”

At 16-8-4 on the year with a .931 save percentage and 2.10 GAA, Mrazek has worked himself into Vezina consideration. Though he lacks the workload of Braden Holtby, the consensus favorite right now, Mrazek has done a terrific job of not just beating Howard out for the No. 1 gig, but also keeping Detroit right in the thick of the Atlantic Division chase.

With a win tonight, the Red Wings would climb to within one point of Florida for top spot.

Mrazek and Co. will look to get those points against Brian Elliott, who’ll start for St. Louis.


Robin Lehner will make his second start since returning from injury when the Sabres take on the Avs in Colorado. Lehner allowed three goals on 30 shots in his first game, a loss to the Bruins. For Colorado, Semyon Varlamov‘s in goal.

John Gibson will keep his starting gig when the Ducks host the Wild. After a hot start, Gibson has plateaued a bit with a .902 save percentage in his last five starts. No word yet on a Minnesota starter.

Isles’ D takes another hit as Pelech (upper body) reportedly done for year

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 03:  Adam Pelech #50 of the New York Islanders skates against the Dallas Stars at the Barclays Center on January 3, 2016 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. The Islanders defeated the Stars 6-5.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Adam Pelech‘s rookie campaign could be over before it ever really got started.

On Wednesday, Newsday reported that Pelech’s upper-body injury is “almost surely season-ending,” which would limit the 21-year-old’s first NHL season to just seven games played.

It’s unclear right now what’s ailing Pelech, New York’s third-round pick at the ’12 draft.

Head coach Jack Capuano called it a “freak thing,” and it’s worth noting Pelech was held out of Sunday’s loss to the Canucks despite being classified as a gametime decision.

Whatever the case, his absence will hurt.

Pelech had two points in his first seven games, averaging 16:42 TOI. He’d previously impressed down with AHL Bridgeport, though his recall was partly due to the other injuries New York has suffered on defense — specifically, those to Johnny Boychuk and Travis Hamonic.

As for updates on those two…

With Boychuk, Hamonic and Pelech out of the lineup on Sunday, the Isles were forced to ice a defense comprised of Nick Leddy, Thomas Hickey, Marek Zidlicky, Brian Strait, Scott Mayfield and Calvin de Haan.

Leddy and Hickey both played over 25 minutes in the shootout defeat, while de Haan clocked in at 23:40.