Detroit Red Wings' leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg wouldn't go into too much detail about his lower-body injury when he met with reporters Thursday at Joe Louis Arena, but he did say he will not need surgery and is hopeful to return in time for the playoffs.
Zetterberg will not play against the Chicago Blackhawks in Detroit's final two games of the regular season. Beyond that he is considered day-to-day.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs begin next Wednesday.
"We didn't really know the severity of it; we just had to wait and get the MRI," Zetterberg, who was hurt in the first period of Wednesday's 3-0 loss, said according to DetroitRedWings.com. "I will say it was better than I thought. The only thing we know is that I won't play this weekend, and then we will go day-by-day and see the progress and see how much better it gets."
Zetterberg was hurt when he fell awkwardly to the ice following a hit by Carolina defenseman Bryan Allen. He played one more shift before limping into the dressing room. He did not return and did not practice with his teammates Thursday.
"I expect him to be day-to-day," Wings coach Mike Babcock said according to the Detroit Free Press. "He's not playing the next two games, and he's day-to-day after that."
Zetterberg was hoping to play in all 82 regular season games for the first time in his career. He'll have to settle for 80, which is still one better than his previous career high of 79, a mark he hit as a rookie in 2002-03.
"This is when the fun time starts. You want to be healthy; you want to be ready to go," Zetterberg said. "I will say you're never 100 percent this time of year, but you want to be able to help the team. It did feel a little worse (Thursday), which was expected and it feels a little stiff, but the next few days will be critical."
Life's about opportunity and how you respond to that opportunity, and obviously he must have some swagger about him, some confidence about him, because he was solid. He made some good saves. He was 6-foot-3 on every shot, which is a good thing for a goalie. He played well. We got a win.
— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock on rookie goaltender Garret Sparks, who made 24 saves in his first NHL start, a 3-0 win vs. Oilers
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