NHL on NBCSN: Red Wings won’t have Kronwall, Ericsson in matchup with Pens

Associated Press

NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2015-16 campaign tonight when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Detroit Red Wings at 7:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

Two teams jockeying for playoff positioning will go head-to-head on Thursday night, when the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins face-off at the Consol Energy Center.

For the third straight game, the Wings will be without two key defensemen, as Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson will be sidelined with injuries.

Kronwall has been out since Jan. 20 after getting his knee scoped.

The 35-year-old says he’s feeling better, but he’s still considered day-to-day at this point.

As for Ericsson, he’s also considered day-to-day. It seems unlikely that he’ll be able to play this weekend.

The Wings have dropped two of their last three games, and they allowed five goals to Boston in a 6-5 win on Sunday afternoon.

On a positive note, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg have combined for 16 points since being reunited six games ago.

The Penguins will have to overcome injuries of their own, as they’ll be without Evgeni Malkin in this one. He’ll miss his seventh straight game because of a lower-body injury.

These two teams last played each other on Dec.31.

The Wings jumped out to a 2-0 lead in that game before the Penguins scored five unanswered goals.

That win could be seen as the turning point in Pittsburgh’s season.

They were 17-15-4 before that contest and are 11-4-4 since the win over Detroit.

“It might have been a turning point for sure,” Pens forward Porter said, per The Pittsburgh Tribune. “To battle back against a team like Detroit was huge for us. I think that jump-started a lot of guys’ games, and we started scoring a lot of goals. And even when we’re not scoring, we’re creating more chances.”

The Penguins currently own the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference by a slim margin.

Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh both have 64 points, but the Pens have a game in hand.