Carl Gunnarson – Mike Komisarek
Injured: Jake Gardiner
Carl Gunnarson – Mike Komisarek
Injured: Jake Gardiner
Bertuzzi, who has been nursing a groin injury, will miss up to a month with mononucleosis.
"Bert's got mono," Red wings coach Mike Babcock said Saturday. "When we talked to him [Friday], we knew something was wrong. He's got mono, so he's going to [miss] a chunk of time."
Asked if it will be weeks, Babcock replied: "Oh yeah, for sure. Probably."
Bertuzzi, who turns 38 on Feb. 2, could go on injured reserve, which would clear a spot for injured Darren Helm (back) to return.
Bertuzzi has 751 points in 1,093 career games.
Colaiacovo, who became an unrestricted free agent this summer, was not brought back by the Blues and signed a two-year, $5-million contract with the archrival Detroit Red Wings.
Colaiacovo, 29, arrived at the arena Saturday morning and had to remind himself where he needed to be.
"Actually, I got locked out when I came in," Colaiacovo quipped. "I didn't know where to go. I'm still used to being a home player here. I didn't know where the visiting teams were supposed to go.
"I've seen a lot of familiar faces and it brings back a lot of good memories. I obviously still have a lot of great friends on that team. I saw them last night and saw them again this morning. A lot of mixed emotions going through me today. The adrenaline's going to be rushing through me tonight. I know that the crowd's going to be rocking. It's a new opportunity for me, a fresh start. I'm looking forward to making the most of it."
The Flyers and Penguins finished the 2011-12 regular season against each other, then engaged in a memorable, hard-fought six-game playoff series. In fact, the Penguins' last eight games have been against the Flyers.
For the Penguins, Bylsma said his team should have extra inspiration for the way their season ended, a 5-1 loss to the Flyers here at Wells Fargo Center.
"When the news stated rolling around and it looked like we were going to have a season, and the possibility of when the season could start … [it] would be against the Flyers, you kind of smirk at the decision-makers who put that schedule together," Bylsma said. "But now we're getting in the plane, coming here, coming into this building, certainly no better way to start for us. A shortened season, the sprint it's going to be to the playoffs, the place where our [season] ended last year, disappointed with us not playing the way we thought we could, starting here against the Flyers, our rival, it's going to be a great way to start."
Laviolette said he's just as happy to see the Penguins written first on his team's schedule. As much as he's pleased for having a rival to open the season against, he's glad the fans who have missed hockey for so long will have what should be an entertaining game for their first day back.
"It's a good way to kick off the season for us, for sure," Laviolette said. "We've got a real strong opponent here. There was a real emotional series last year, I think, and it's a perfect opening game.
"The fact that it's the Penguins, an afternoon game, NBC, that brings the hype already. The lockout adds a little bit. I think you've got a couple teams that have a pretty good rivalry going, it's the first game of the year. People that love hockey still love hockey after the lockout. We're happy they're here and we want to put on a good game for the fans."
Contact Adam Kimelman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK
ST. LOUIS -- The look in Vladimir Tarasenko's eyes said it all.
The St. Louis Blues' 2010 first-round draft pick is feeling like a kid in a candy store, excited to be realizing a dream. On the other hand, when the 21-year-old steps onto the ice for his first National Hockey League game against the Detroit Red Wings tonight (7 p.m. on FSN, KMOX 1120-AM), the nerves will be fast and furious.
"I'm very excited because this is my dream. It's a dream come true," Tarasenko said at the morning skate. "I'm a little bit nervous because this is my first game in the National Hockey League. I never thought I would get here."
ST. LOUIS -- The defending Central Division champion St. Louis Blues will face a still formidable Detroit Red Wings team Saturday, even though they will be opening a season without the great Nicklas Lidstrom for the first time since 1991.
"It's the Detroit Red Wings, so it just looks the same to us," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "They just fill in the gaps.
"Everyone thought when (Steve) Yzerman left, it was going to be all over and they did just fine. I'll reserve judgment until we see how they look without him in there. To me, they know how to play the game the right way."
ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The Minnesota Wild have waited over six months to unveil their new $98-million assets. After a lockout and week-long training camp, the team will officially do just that as Zach Parise and Ryan Suter debut in Wild sweaters at 8 p.m. against the Colorado Avalanche at Xcel Energy Center.
Saturday's season opener also caps the annual "Hockey Day Minnesota" celebration sponsored by the team and the local Fox Sports affiliate. So it's safe to say that the hockey-crazed fans in Minnesota will be even more excited to see the Wild season finally get underway this evening.
For Parise, the delay has been especially long. After all, this is the player who started pining for the season to start in July at his introductory press conference.
"It dragged during November, December. It got pretty long," Parise said. "Everyone can stop analyzing and overanalyzing and now we can just play. I think everybody is looking forward to that."
Six regulars from last year’s team will be missing, the latest casualty being wing Kris Versteeg. He sustained a lower-body injury in practice Friday and left the morning skate early Saturday.
Also out for Florida are forwards Sean Bergenheim and Marcel Goc as well as defensemen Dmitry Kulikov, Erik Gudbranson and Mike Weaver. All are dealing with injuries, except for Kulikov, who just rejoined the team after signing a new contract.
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I think Loui Eriksson is a player that can be even better than he was last year. I think we started seeing that at the end of the year, and he could be a replacement for Jarome as a possibility.