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At the Rink: Red Wings at Sharks

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE - Henrik Zetterberg skated Thursday for the first time since being punched in the head Saturday by Dallas Stars' Jamie Benn, but he'll miss his third straight game when the Detroit Red Wings face the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on Thursday.

Zetterberg has been bothered by headaches, and he said he's still "got a little symptoms" but feels "significantly better" than he did Saturday.

He went on the ice near the end of Detroit's morning skate and skated on his own. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said he expects Zetterberg to miss Detroit's road game Saturday against the Nashville Predators, then return Wednesday when the Red Wings open a two-game homestand against the New York Rangers.

"You're always concerned," Babcock said. "I don't think anybody was worried that much about it. It looks to me that he'll be playing against the Rangers."

Zetterberg said he's not thinking beyond Friday.

"I'm thinking about tomorrow now, what I can do tomorrow," Zetterberg said. "Tomorrow I'm going to think about what I'm going to do the next day. I haven't really thought about what game or anything like that. I just take it day-by-day."

Red Wings defenseman Kyle Quincey, who's been slowed by bone chips in his ankle, skated for the first time since last Friday but will miss his fourth straight game. Quincey will eventually need surgery, but he plans to put that off until after the season.

"A lot of the guys are playing through pain," said Quincey, who hopes to play against Nashville. "It's not just me. Hockey's a tough sport. No one's 100 percent, especially this time of year. It is what it is. This is what we signed up for. It's nothing out of the ordinary."

The Sharks haven't played since Saturday when they lost 2-1 to the Los Angeles Kings in the 2015 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game. With 68 points, the Sharks are fifth in the Pacific Division and are two points behind the Calgary Flames for the second wild-card spot in the Western Conference.

"We know we've got a quarter of the season left, which is still a lot of hockey, but we haven't got the results we wanted in the month of February," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We've had a chance to play the outdoor game, regroup, have a little mini training camp, and we'll start our last quarter against a very good team tonight. We've got to eliminate some mistakes. We've got to bear down in special teams situations and find a save or two more, and if we do that we'll give ourselves a chance to be in [the playoffs]."

Here are the projected lineups:


Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Tomas Tatar

Justin Abdelkader - Riley Sheahan - Gustav Nyquist

Stephen Weiss - Luke Glendening - Teemu Pulkkinen

Drew Miller - Joakim Andersson - Tomas Jurco

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Jakub Kindl - Danny DeKeyser

Brendan Smith - Alexey Marchenko

Jimmy Howard

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Daniel Cleary

Injured: Henrik Zetterberg (upper body), Johan Franzen (concussion), Kyle Quincey (foot)


Melker Karlsson - Joe Thornton - Joe Pavelski

Patrick Marleau - Logan Couture - Tommy Wingels

Tomas Hertl - James Sheppard - Matt Nieto

Andrew Desjardins - Chris Tierney - Tyler Kennedy

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Brent Burns

Brenden Dillon - Justin Braun

Matt Irwin - Scott Hannan

Antti Niemi

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Barclay Goodrow, John Scott, Mirco Mueller

Injured: Raffi Torres (knee), Mike Brown (right leg), Tye McGinn (upper body)

Status report: After being split up the past two games, Pavelski and Thornton will skate on the same line again, with Marleau returning to the second line with Couture and Wingels. "It's the best combination or pair offensively we've had over the past two seasons," McLellan said of Pavelski and Thornton. ... There's a chance that Goodrow could be in the lineup on the fourth line. If so, then Desjardins would likely move to center with Tierney being scratched. ... Sharks forward Daniil Tarasov was reassigned to Worcester of the American Hockey League. He had been on injured reserve with an undisclosed injury.

Who's hot: Datsyuk has four goals and three assists in his past four games. He's tied with Zetterberg for the team lead in points with 49. ... Burns has two goals in his past four games. With 45 points, he is tied for third in scoring among NHL defensemen.

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