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Larkin A Game-Time Decision For Red Wings; MacKinnon out for Avs

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Dylan Larkin, Detroit Red Wings
Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin was back on the ice Wednesday morning but remains a game-time decision for Detroit's clash with Colorado.

The good news for the Detroit Red Wings was that captain Dylan Larkin was a participant in the morning in preparation for Wednesday’s game against the Colorado Avalanche at Little Caesars Arena.

On the other hand, the bad news is that when the puck drops at 7:30 pm, the Wings still aren’t certain that Larkin will be part of their lineup.

“(Larkin’s) a game-time decision,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said of his captain. Larkin left the ice late in practice on Tuesday with an undisclosed ailment.

Detroit is 2-2-1 this season when Larkin doesn’t play. He’s missed games earlier in the campaign due to NHL suspension (one game), a personal matter (three games) and injury (one game).

Forward Vladislav Namestnikov didn’t skate Wednesday morning but all indications are that he’s good to go on Wednesday against his former Colorado teammates.

“I anticipate him being available,” Blashill said. “He just didn’t need to skate this morning.”

Namestnikov was missing the past two games due to a lower-body injury.

MacKinnon Out For Avalanche

The Avalanche are 19-2-2 in their last 23 games but come to Detroit off a lopsided 5-1 loss at Boston. Colorado hasn’t lost consecutive games since Nov. 3-6. However, they will be missing No. 1 center Nathan MacKinnon. He’s out with a lower-body injury. Colorado coach Jared Bednar called it a “minor issue.”

Center Joe Veleno was recalled from Grand Rapids and was back on the ice with the Wings on Wednesday. Center Carter Rowney (lower-body injury) is available for the first time since Jan. 4. Defenseman Gustav Lindstrom, missing from Detroit’s last game against the New York Rangers, is also back in the lineup.

Greiss Startiing In Goal For Red Wings

For the first time since Dec. 28-31, Thomas Greiss will be making consecutive starts in the Detroit net. He’s won his last two decisions and is 3-1-1 with a 2.18 goals against average and .931 save percentage over his last five starts.

“His last five starts have been really good,” Blashill said. “Now there’s two months in between some of those. It’s not like it’s been five over three weeks. It’s been five over two months. It seems like his game is sharpening up.”

Being sharp is a vital quality to playing goal for the Red Wings.

“We’re not a team that gives up 5-6-7 chances a game,” Blashill said. “We give up too many chances. When you do that, you put a lot of weight on the shoulders of your goalie.”

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