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Red Wings Facing Must Win Scenario In Pittsburgh (+)

Penguins could prove to be tough test



Jake Walman, Moritz Seider, Red Wings
The Red Wings have dropped 23 points to non-playoff teams so far this season.

Detroit Red Wings coach Derek Lalonde frequently pronounces that there are no easy games in the NHL. Really, though, there’s no need to make this point of emphasis.

All season long, his team has been proving their coach’s point.

So far this season, Detroit has already droppped 23 points to NHL teams that won’t be part of the playoff picture.

As they arrive in Pittsburgh for a Sunday showdown with the Penguins, the Red Wings are yet again facing a game in which they can’t allow the two points to escape their grasp. Seven points out of a playoff spot, Pittsburgh is almost done like dinner in terms of playoff participation.

The Penguins will be dead in the water if they lose this game, so the Red Wings should be anticipating that they’ll be getting the best that Pittsburgh has to offer.

“No game at this time of the year is easy,” Detroit forward Alex DeBrincat said. “Everyone is working for something, whether it’s to get in the playoffs or feel good for playoffs. Some teams that are out of it, they still work hard. Everyone’s working for their jobs.”

Red Wings Own Favorable Schedule

With 15 games left in the regular season, on paper Detroit owns one of the softer remaining slates. Of those games, nine are against teams that currently wouldn’t be playoff participants. There’s another game against the Penguins, as well as a meeting with Columbus and a pair against Montreal among that schedule. But don’t go putting those points in the win column before the Red Wings are earning them.

During the 2023-24 campaign, Detroit has lost in overtime to the Canadiens, as well as San Jose and Seattle. They’ve dropped four points each to Arizona, Ottawa and New Jersey. There’s also been losses suffered against Anaheim, Buffalo, Minnesota and the Islanders.

That’s whay they can’t be taking the Penguins lightly today.

“There’s not an easy game in this league,” DeBrincat said. “We gotta come ready to play.”