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NHL on NBCSN: Hurting Red Wings host Flyers on Rivalry Night

Dec 4, 2013, 9:33 AM EDT

Claude Giroux AP

NBCSN continues its coverage of the 2013-14 campaign tonight when the Detroit Red Wings host the Philadelphia Flyers at Joe Louis Arena at 8:00 p.m. ET. In addition to NBCSN, you can also watch the game online.

All of a sudden, things have become bleak for the Detroit Red Wings.

Pavel Datsyuk was already out after being elbowed in the head by Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen and now they’re without captain Henrik Zetterberg due to a back injury that’ll have him on the shelf for at least a couple weeks.

With other starters like Danny DeKeyser and Todd Bertuzzi banged up as well, it’d be easy for the Red Wings to sit around and feel bad about themselves. Instead, they head into their game against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday riding a four-game winning streak, as well as five of their last six, and sitting just three points back of Boston for the Atlantic Division lead.

Getting them through the tough times are a handful of guys you may not have expected. Goalie Jonas Gustavsson has played exceptionally this season including winning three of the last four games. That fourth win was a shutout from Jimmy Howard. Sometimes things just work out like that.

Forwards Darren Helm, Daniel Alfredsson, and recent AHL recall Gustav Nyquist have picked up the offensive slack with Helm and Nyquist turning into goal-scorers. Helm has seven goals in 14 games and Nyquist has four goals in the six games he’s played this season. Now that he’s not heading back to the minors, getting Nyquist back in as injury disaster struck has turned into a god-send.

With everything coming up roses at the moment, you wonder when fortune might start going against the Red Wings. If you’re a believer in karma, perhaps their play is making up for the injuries to their two superstars.

Editor’s Note: Pro Hockey Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a $2,000 Fantasy Hockey league for Wednesday’s NHL games. It’s just $10 to join and first prize is $400. Starts Wednesday at 7pm ET. Here’s the FanDuel link.

As for the Flyers, we got a look at them on Monday night during their 2-0 loss to the Minnesota Wild. Philly had been on a roll previous to that loss as they’ve turned their season around since the brutal start that cost Peter Laviolette his job and ushered in Craig Berube.

That loss to Minnesota saw Ray Emery wind up the fall-guy in goal meaning Steve Mason likely gets the call tonight. We discussed Mason’s numbers this season back on Monday and they’ll need him to stand tall to keep the Wings at bay.

With Claude Giroux getting his groove back, things should be looking up for the Flyers. Of course, things don’t always go as planned. Vincent Lecavalier missed Monday’s game due to an issue with a back spasms. With him leading the team in goals, you can understand a bit better why they were shutout.

Now that these two teams are Eastern Conference foes, revisiting what made them rivals for at least one postseason back in 1997 makes it seem like doubly ancient history. It also means having to see this highlight a couple more times a year.

  1. jpelle82 - Dec 4, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    arrgghh. tomorrow has bruins and habs or hawks and wild…last night was pens and isles…nbcsn needs to just flex their coverage schedule or change the whole “rivalry night” theme…its just getting embarassing now.

  2. ibieiniid - Dec 4, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    lol, hockey on ESPN.

  3. nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 4, 2013 at 3:02 PM

    Question for the floor: Was that 1997 Finals sweep the only time these “rivals” have ever met in the playoffs?

    • ibieiniid - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:43 PM

      yes, says this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Philadelphia_Flyers_seasons

      • nothanksimdriving123 - Dec 4, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        Thanks. So we can tentatively conclude that for the purposes of “Rivalry Night”, NBC defines rivalry as: any two NHL teams that have met in either the regular season or playoffs since 1917 and happen to be scheduled to play on a Wednesday night and who we hope will be one of the better ratings draws that night.

      • ibieiniid - Dec 5, 2013 at 9:25 AM

        lol exactly. in their defense, that was a good game. didn’t turn AS gritty as I thought it would, but good nonetheless.

  4. polegojim - Dec 4, 2013 at 4:27 PM

    Sprained… not broken.

    Shaken… not stirred.

    Babs… Mike Babs….

    The Wings feather in his cap is how Babs has brought up the ‘right and ready’ youth and mixed up lines for playoff testing.

    So far, I’m impressed with how things have shaken out… actually even better than the lag when all the regs were playing.

  5. muckleflugga - Dec 4, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    polegojim

    pure art…well spoken and well crafted

    go wings

  6. rc1emens - Dec 4, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    The above video highlight showcases the prettiest goal of Darren McCarty’s career. I for one never saw him pull such a deke, nor did I ever expect it to see such from Darren, resulting in such an important goal in the series.

  7. sspooks - Dec 5, 2013 at 12:12 AM

    I watched and listened to the Flyers game tonight on NBC sports tonight. The announcers were praising Sean Courtier for his best game ever with totaling 4 points. The NBC announcers were so stupid it was evident they don’t know anything him. He did dominate Pitts and Malkin a few years ago in the playoffs with a 3 goal 4 point game in game 2 on the road. I hate to be a homer it but Coates, Jones and jackson are the best. Nat’l broadcast are the worst!!

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