NHL on NBCSN: Wings look to get back to their winning ways against Bolts

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NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2016-17 campaign tonight when the Detroit Red Wings host the Tampa Bay Lightning at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.

The Lightning and Red Wings will meet for the first time since their regular season opener back on Oct. 13.

On that night, the Lightning got multi-point efforts from Alex Killorn, Cedric Paquette and Jonathan Drouin in a 6-4 win. Detroit got two goals from Thomas Vanek in the loss.

Things will be a little different tonight, as both Vanek and Drouin are out with injuries.

Tampa Bay opened their five-game road trip with a 4-0 beat down of the New York Islanders last night.

The Bolts were led by their top line of Steven Stamkos, Nikita Kucherov and Vladislav Namestnikov, who were dangerous all night.

Stamkos picked up two assists, Kucherov had a goal and an assist, while Namestnikov found the back of the net once as well.

As for the Red Wings, they’ve been up and down in 2016-17.

In October, they put together a six-game winning streak, but Saturday’s 5-0 loss to Montreal may have been the low point of this young season.

“We’ve talked about identity and talked about being relentless, talked about being fast and competitive, and you can’t win in this league and not be highly competitive,” coach Jeff Blashill said, per the Detroit News. “The game in Montreal, we got out-competed and we can’t get out-competed.

“We got slapped in the face (so) it better be a wakeup call.”

Those are some harsh words from the coach, but they’ve likely been brewing for a while.

Since their six-game winning streak ended on Oct. 29, the Wings have a record of 1-5-2….yikes!

What’s also concerning is that Jimmy Howard, who went into the game against Montreal with the highest save percentage in the league (.961), had no answers for the Canadiens. But as Blashill pointed out, he wasn’t the reason they lost the game.

Petr Mrazek played the third period on Saturday and he’ll start against Tampa tonight.

That won’t be the only change. It also looks like Blashill will shake up his lines going into the game.

Dylan Larkin was put with Frans Nielsen and Luke Glendening at practice, and captain Henrik Zetterberg was with Justin Abdelakder and Tomas Tatar.

It’ll be interesting to see how the Wings respond.