With the Central Division wrapped up there isn't much left for the Red Wings to play for this regular season, but they can still improve their playoff standing in the last week.
Detroit sits one point behind San Jose for the second seed in the Western Conference as they travel to North Carolina tonight to face the Carolina Hurricanes. The Sharks, who have a game in hand, destroyed Los Angeles on Monday to reclaim the second spot in the conference.
But even with something to play for, the Red Wings will be wary with some of their banged up players. Niklas Kronwall will miss his third straight game tonight with a shoulder injury, while Jiri Hudler and Drew Miller will sit as healthy scratches. Justin Abdelkader will get a big promotion after his two goals against Nashville on Saturday, playing on the second line with Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen.
Carolina on the other hand does not have it's playoff fate settled just yet. Carolina dropped a big game their last time out, a 2-1 overtime loss to Buffalo that left the 'Canes four points out of the East's final playoffs spot. The New York Rangers currently have that spot, but have played one more game and recently lost forward Ryan Callahan to a fractured leg. Expect a very hungry and desperate Carolina squad tonight.
OUT—Chris Osgood, sports hernia; Niklas Kronwall, shoulder
SCRATCHED—Jiri Hudler, healthy; Drew Miller, healthy
Players to Watch
Johan Franzen, Red Wings: Franzen finally broke his scoring slump and scored a goal last game. This is usually the time of year Franzen comes to play, so let's hope it's the start of something big.
Cam Ward, Hurricanes: Ward hasn't allowed more than three goals in a game since Feb. 26 when he let in four in a 4-3 loss to Montreal. Ward has won six of his past eight starts and had won three in a row before losing on Sunday.