WILD (0-0-0) at RED WINGS (0-0-0)
7:30 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NHL.TV
The Detroit Red Wings will play their first regular-season game at their new home when they begin the regular season against the Minnesota Wild at Little Caesars Arena on Thursday.
“This place was loud when it was half-full for our preseason games,” Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. “When it is full, people will know this is still the best hockey city in the world.”
The Wild open their season without forward Zach Parise (back), who will miss at least the first two games and hopes to return to practice next week. They have high expectations after setting team records for wins (49), points (106) and goals (263) in 2016-17.
“This is a team that is on the verge of doing some really special,” said forward Matt Cullen, who agreed to a one-year, $1 million contract with the Wild on Aug. 16. “We just have to keep moving forward.”
Players to watch
Center Eric Staal is looking for a fast start after leading the Wild with 28 goals last season, but earning one assist in Minnesota’s five-game loss to the St. Louis Blues in the Western Conference First Round.
The Red Wings are counting on a bounce-back season from forward Dylan Larkin, whose production dropped from 45 points (23 goals, 22 assists) with a plus-11 rating as a rookie to 32 points (17 goals, 15 assists) and minus-28 last season.
They said it
“My job tonight is to keep everyone on an even keel, because there’s going to be a lot of excitement in the building tonight.” — Wild coach Bruce Boudreau on being the first visiting team to play at Little Caesars Arena
“When I showed them around, I think they both wished they were still playing.” — Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg, after giving former teammates Nicklas Lidstrom and Tomas Holmstrom a tour of the expanded facilities at Little Caesars Arena
Wild projected lineup
Nino Niederreiter — Eric Staal — Charlie Coyle
Jason Zucker — Mikko Koivu — Mikael Granlund
Marcus Foligno — Joel Eriksson Ek — Chris Stewart
Daniel Winnik — Matt Cullen — Tyler Ennis
Ryan Suter — Jared Spurgeon
Matt Dumba — Jonas Brodin
Kyle Quincey — Mike Reilly
Scratched: Gustav Olofsson
Injured: Zach Parise (back)
Red Wings projected lineup
Tomas Tatar — Henrik Zetterberg — Gustav Nyquist
Anthony Mantha — Dylan Larkin — Martin Frk
Darren Helm — Frans Nielsen — Justin Abdelkader
David Booth — Riley Sheahan — Luke Glendening
Danny DeKeyser — Trevor Daley
Xavier Ouellet — Mike Green
Jonathan Ericsson — Nick Jensen
Scratched: Luke Witkowski
Injured: Tyler Bertuzzi (wrist), Evgeny Svechnikov (neck), Niklas Kronwall (groin)
Winnik signed a one-year, $660,000 contract Wednesday to take Parise’s place but needs a visa to play. If the process isn’t completed, Olofsson will play as a seventh defenseman. … Daley, who signed a three-year contract after winning the Stanley Cup twice with the Pittsburgh Penguins, will make his Red Wings debut. … Kronwall is day to day … Detroit forward Andreas Athanasiou, a restricted free agent, remains unsigned.
The Wild are 3-1-1 in their past five openers and 4-1-1 in their past six. … The Red Wings are 3-2-0 in their past five openers and 5-2-0 in their past seven.