The Detroit Red Wings lost star center Pavel Datsyuk with a broken right hand during the first period of Wednesday's 5-4 overtime victory against Vancouver at Joe Louis Arena.
Datsyuk, who leads the Red Wings in scoring this season with 12 goals and 39 points, was injured when he fell awkwardly in front of the Canucks’ net. He skated to the Wings’ bench favoring his right side, left the ice and didn't return.
"He's got a broken hand or wrist, or something like that," coach Mike Babcock said. "He'll be out about four weeks."
Datsyuk has missed only three regular-season games since the 2007-08 season. He skated more than five minutes on eight shifts Wednesday before the injury.
"It's unfortunate. There's nothing we can do about it," Babcock said. "We have to find a way to dig in, just like we did tonight to get the team gunning, and (there's) more opportunity for someone else."
According to Babcock, surgery will not be necessary for Datsyuk, who had his right hand in a cast before the conclusion of Wednesday’s game.
Datsyuk is the second Red Wings' forward sidelined with a hand or wrist injury this season. Center Mike Modano had surgery to repair tendon and nerve damage when he was cut by a skate in a game at Columbus on Nov. 26. Modano is expected to be out of the lineup until March.