AHL Preview: Grand Rapids Griffins vs. Chicago Wolves

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Kassian Wolves vs. Griffins
Zack Kassian. Jerome Miron – USA TODAY Sports

The Grand Rapids Griffins (Detroit Red Wings) head to Allstate Arena tonight to take on the Chicago Wolves (Vancouver Canucks) in an AHL Midwest Division showdown.

Both teams come in struggling, with the Wolves 3-5-1-1 in their last 10 games and the Griffins 1-3 in their last four outings. This is the third of eight meetings between the teams this season, with the Griffins having won the prior two, one at home and one on the road.

The Wolves have been led by Brett Sterling, an AHL veteran in his second stint with the team, who has six goals and 14 points. Canucks prospects Jordan Schroeder (seven goals, 12 points) and Zack Kassian (six goals, 12 points) both continue to perform well offensively in their second season with the Wolves. Goaltender Eddie Lack is 7-4-1, while backup Matt Climie has struggled to a 2-6 record.

The Griffins have seen rookie Riley Sheahan’s performance improve, he has a goal and two assists in their last two games. Gustav Nyquist (eight goals, 19 points) and Tomas Tatar (10 goals, 18 points) remain at the top of the team’s stat sheet, but this well-balanced offense continues to get scoring from all players. Rookie goaltender Petr Mrazek has lost two of his last three starts, but still maintains a 7-2 record on the season.

First-year Wolves head coach Scott Arniel will look to get his power play (28th in the league) and penalty kill (30th in league) performing better, and improve on a 6-2-1-1 record at home. The Griffins added their fourth shorthanded goal of the season on Wednesday against the Peoria Rivermen (St. Louis Blues) and have the league’s fifth best power play.