TRAVERSE CITY — The Detroit Red Wings will have achance to have a little more pro-minent presence at Centre ICE.
The Red Wings (3-0) will play Buffalo (3-0) at 7:30 p.m. tonight in the NHL Prospect Tournament championship with a chance to put Detroit’s name on the tourney trophy for the first time, as well as get a banner and the team’s name on the newly-added mural of past champions in the arena atrium.
“We talked a little bit about that,” Red Wings center Andreas Athanasiou said. “We talked about that they’ve never won it. I like to win; it’s part of my game. When I heard that, I thought, ‘Here’s my chance to show them.’ I win everywhere I go, so I thought this would be a good opportunity.”
And with three goals in his first two games, Athanasiou has certainly been doing his part.
“With the Wings not winning one of these Prospects tournaments yet, it’d be a cool experience,” forward Riley Sheahan said. “All these guys have been working hard in the off-season, so it’d give them something to talk about when they go back to their teams.”
The Red Wings defeated St. Louis 4-1 Sunday night to set up matchup between the tournament’s only two undefeated teams. Detroit goals came from Xavier Ouellet, Zach Nastasiuk, Tomas Jurco and Anthony Mantha (empty net). Jake Paterson stopped 22 Blues shots.
Detroit and Buffalo were the only teams undefeated entering tonight’s final pool-play games.
Dallas’ 2-1 shootout win over Minnesota sealed Detroit earning the top spot in the Gordie Howe Division, while Buffalo’s 7-4 win over Carolina earlier Sunday made the Sabres 3-0 and clinched the Ted Lindsay Division crown.
The Red Wings have never won the Prospects Tournament they have hosted since it started in 1998.