It will be a few weeks before newly acquired Todd Bertuzzi plays his first game for the Detroit Red Wings. They hope to have leading scorer Henrik Zetterberg back in the lineup before that.
Detroit looks to make it seven straight wins over the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday night when the teams meet for the second time in four days.
The Red Wings (40-16-8) made a big move before Tuesday's trade deadline, acquiring Bertuzzi from Florida for center Shawn Matthias and conditional draft picks in 2007 and 2008.
Bertuzzi, who had a career-high 46 goals for Vancouver in 2002-03, underwent surgery to repair a herniated disc in November and hasn't played since Oct. 18. He could be ready to play by the end of March.
Bertuzzi acknowledged that he can't afford to hurry himself into the lineup.
"I can't be too eager and I don't want to mess things up," he said.
Now might be a good time for the Red Wings to have a healthy Bertuzzi because Zetterberg, who led all NHL scorers in February with 25 points, will be sidelined 2-to-3 weeks with an inflamed disc in his back. Zetterberg left practice Monday and missed Tuesday's 4-1 victory at Chicago.
Judging by their recent history, the Red Wings may not need Zetterberg to continue their dominance over the Blackhawks (23-32-9). Detroit has won all five meetings this season and six in a row overall. The Red Wings also are 13-0-1 in the last 14 matchups since a 3-0 road loss on Dec. 28, 2003.
Kyle Calder, acquired from Philadelphia as part of a three-team deal Sunday, scored on his first shift with his new team and added an assist Tuesday.
"It was a good way to start, definitely the way I wanted it," Calder said. "It's nice to get it out of the way."
Calder, who spent his first six seasons with the Blackhawks, went from the league-worst Flyers to the Red Wings, who are two points behind Nashville for the Central Division lead and the NHL's best record.
Tomas Holmstrom had two goals and Dominik Hasek stopped 24 shots for Detroit, which has points in six straight games and is 10-2-2 in its last 14.
Chicago led early Thursday in a 6-1 loss to visiting Colorado. Tuomo Ruutu scored 1:14 into the first period for the Blackhawks, who surrendered six unanswered goals and fell to 1-5-2 in its last eight overall.
The only good news for Chicago was the return of leading scorer Martin Havlat, who missed Tuesday's loss to the Red Wings with the flu and lost nearly 10 pounds in a few days, according to coach Denis Savard.
"He's pretty worn out now, no question," Savard said. "Hopefully he can get something in his stomach now."
Havlat, who has nine goals and eight assists in his last 13 games overall, has been limited to one assist in three contests this season against Detroit.
Savard could start Nikolai Khabibulin for the fourth consecutive game Friday or could go with Patrick Lalime. Neither, however, has had much success against Detroit.
Khabibulin has recorded a 4.56 goals-against average while losing five straight and is 1-9-1 with a tie in his last 12 starts against the Red Wings. Lalime, meanwhile, is 1-8-0 with a 4.21 GAA in nine career starts versus them.