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Red Wings pin hopes on newcomers to take down Sharks, snap skid

Right wing Filip Zadina, the sixth overall pick in last year's entry draft, is expected to make his NHL debut Sunday when the Detroit Red Wings host the San Jose Sharks.

He was called up from the American Hockey League's Grand Rapids Griffins on Saturday.

Zadina has played in 45 AHL games, collecting 15 goals and 31 points. He won't remain with the Red Wings the rest of the season but they want the 19-year-old to get a taste of the NHL.

"If he plays under 10 games, for contractual reasons it makes sense, and then get back down there and play games before the playoffs," Detroit coach Jeff Blashill told the team's website. "If you pull him up right before the end of the year, then he goes back and hasn't been there for two weeks and all the sudden he's not quite as ready for the playoffs down there as we'd like him to be.

"We'd love for them to go on a big playoff run and him be a big part of it," Blashill added. "We're hoping he gets up here, he gets a feel as a young player for the things he needs to do to work on over the course of this year and through the summer and then go back and be a better player because of it and lead Grand Rapids."

Zadina is not the only newcomer that could make his Wings debut on Sunday.

Madison Bowey, a 23-year-old defenseman acquired from Washington over the weekend, could also be in the lineup. Detroit traded away one of its top defenseman and impending free agent, Nick Jensen, in order to acquire Bowey and a future second-round pick.

Dylan Larkin, the team's 22-year-old star and leading scorer, is more concerned about snapping a four-game losing streak. The Wings lost at home, 3-2, to Minnesota on Friday. Tyler Bertuzzi and Anthony Mantha scored their goals.

"We're just waiting for things to happen, watching them play," Larkin said. "We're sitting back too much, letting them take the game to us. With our speed, we should be forechecking and we should be rolling four lines, playing in the O-zone and scoring goals like we did with Bert there. You get a turnover on the forecheck and get our D active and walking the line and shooting and guys standing in front of the net, paying the price to tip pucks."

The Sharks will be playing the second game of a back-to-back. They were blanked at Columbus 4-0 on Saturday even though both teams had 26 shots on goal.

San Jose, which hadn't lost in its previous six road games, won by the same score against Pittsburgh at the start of its current trip. The Sharks will wrap up their four-game journey in Boston on Tuesday.

Coach Peter DeBoer described Saturday's performance by the Sharks, second in the Pacific Division, as ugly.

"You have a few of these games a year," he said. "I don't know why. We didn't execute. They were hungrier, they were more desperate, they deserved to win."

--Field Level Media

Updated February 24, 2019

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