DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ morning skate prior to hosting the Carolina Hurricanes tonight at Joe Louis Arena in their final regular season home game.
Coach Mike Babcock will keep with the same lineup he’s had the last two games, sitting Joakim Andersson and Todd Bertuzzi.
“We have to get better as a team,” Babcock said after the skate. “It’s so important to get better as a team. Every year we have a system review as soon as we get in, in other words we look at the details in our game so we’re ready going in.
“We play four lines,” Babcock continued. “We roll you out the door. We don’t know who’s first or who’s fourth until the game’s over because whoever plays good gets to play and we’re going to do the same thing tonight. We have to tighten up details.”
Jimmy Howard will start.
The Wings host a Carolina team that has just 79 points on the year.
“There’s not really going to be any change,” Riley Sheahan said. “Obviously we’re comfortable with the spot we’re in, but we’ve still got to play and we’ve still got to stay focused and keep winning. We’re not going to change anything and we’re going to keep going in with the same attitude.”
If the season ended prior to tonight’s game, the Wings would face Boston in the opening round. If they’re able to climb into that first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference they would open with Pittsburgh.
“We just want to be playing well,” Justin Abdelkader said. “Any team that gets in they just want to be playing well. We’re not worried about we’re going to play. Everything will sort itself out.”
Detroit went 3-0-1 against the Bruins this year and ended the year 1-1-1 against the Penguins.
“We want to keep winning,” Johan Franzen said. “We want to win these last two games and maybe climb up a spot. So, that’s our focus right now.
“I think it’s more we want to keep the winning going and come into the playoffs with a good feeling,” Franzen continued when asked if it mattered who they played in the first round. “Even if you say a loss like that doesn’t matter, it’s still a loss and we all want to win all the time. You feel worse after you lose than after a win, so we want to keep building our confidence and keep playing good.”
Detroit ends the regular season Sunday in St. Louis.
Columbus and Philadelphia also have 91 points and both have two games left in the regular season. Both teams hold the tiebreaker on the Wings, wins in regulation.
“You want to go on the playoffs on a roll and play good these last two games so we feel good about ourselves going in,” Abdelkader said.
Petr Mrazek is being recalled to backup Howard tonight.