RED WINGS (29-12-9) at AVALANCHE (22-18-11)
TV: NBCSN, SN360, FS-D
DENVER -- Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie has a hip flexor injury and won't play against the Detroit Red Wings at Pepsi Center on Thursday.
Barrie's injury leaves the Avalanche (22-18-11) without their top two defensemen. Erik Johnson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Jan. 26 and is expected to miss at least two more weeks.
Avalanche coach Patrick Roy said Barrie should be able to play Saturday against the Minnesota Wild when the Avalanche open a two-game road trip.
Stefan Elliott will replace Barrie, who has five goals and 25 assists in 51 games. Elliott was recalled Jan. 29 from the Lake Erie Monsters in the American Hockey League. Elliott had 12 goals and 14 assists in 40 games with Lake Erie and played in the AHL All-Star Game.
Elliott will be paired with Barrie's usual partner, Nate Guenin, and play on power plays. The Avalanche have failed to score on 19 consecutive power plays in the past seven games and are 3-for-40 in a 14-game stretch.
The Red Wings (29-12-9) are on a 7-1-0 roll as they open a three-game road trip. Center Pavel Datsyuk didn't take part in the morning skate Thursday, but he'll play against the Avalanche.
The Red Wings could be a little rusty; they haven't played since a 4-1 win Saturday against the New York Islanders.
"We gave them two days off the ice," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "We thought it was important. It's always a long grind, so you freshen up when you can. Ideally, we've had good practices and we'll be ready to play."
Here are the projected lineups:
Gustav Nyquist - Henrik Zetterberg - Justin Abdelkader
Darren Helm - Pavel Datsyuk - Tomas Tatar
Stephen Weiss - Riley Sheahan - Luke Glendening
Drew Miller - Joakim Andersson - Tomas Jurco
Jonathan Ericsson - Niklas Kronwall
Kyle Quincey - Danny DeKeyser
Brendan Smith - Alexey Marchenko
Scratched: Daniel Cleary, Jakub Kindl, Xavier Ouellet
Injured: Johan Franzen (head), Jimmy Howard (groin)
Alex Tanguay - Matt Duchene - Jarome Iginla
Gabriel Landeskog - Ryan O'Reilly - Nathan MacKinnon
Cody McLeod - John Mitchell - Dennis Everberg
Maxime Talbot - Marc-Andre Cliche - Daniel Briere
Jan Hejda - Zach Redmond
Nate Guenin - Stefan Elliott
Nick Holden - Brad Stuart
Injured: Tyson Barrie (hip flexor), Patrick Bordeleau (fractured kneecap), Erik Johnson (knee), Jamie McGinn (back surgery), Borna Rendulic (broken leg), Ryan Wilson (shoulder), Jesse Winchester (concussion)
Status report: The Red Wings are hopeful that Howard will play next Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the final game of their three-game road trip. He was injured Jan. 10 against the Washington Capitals. … Gustavsson will be the backup against the Avalanche following his recall Wednesday from Grand Rapids in the AHL, where he played two games on a conditioning assignment. He sustained a dislocated shoulder Nov. 5 against the New York Rangers.
Who's hot: Zetterberg has five goals and five assists in the past six games. … Nyquist has four goals and four assists in the past six games. … Ericsson has two goals and two assists in a four-game scoring streak. … Iginla has three goals in the past four games. … Duchene has one goal and three assists in five games.