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Red Wings defenseman DeKeyser to miss 3-4 weeks

by Staff

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser has a sprained ligament in his left foot and will be out 3-4 weeks.

DeKeyser was injured Wednesday during the third period of a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Red Wings website reported the injury occurred on an awkward hit DeKeyser received while killing a penalty. He played one shift after the hit.

"I think Danny's an excellent defenseman in the League," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill told the Red Wings website. "I think he's an underrated player in the League, especially nationally, across both nations. I think Danny's become an elite top-two defenseman in the NHL. With that said, one thing we have in this organization is depth. With Danny out for the 3-4 weeks, I'm very confident we'll dress six defensemen that are absolutely good enough to win, and now we've just got to execute on a nightly basis."

Blashill had planned to play DeKeyser with Mike Green, who missed the past four preseason games because of a groin injury but was expected to return Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Xavier Ouellet was paired with Green at the pregame skate Friday and they will start together against the Maple Leafs. But Blashill said that doesn't mean that's how the Red Wings will start the regular season.

"Xavier is a very smart hockey player," Blashill said. "I think Alexey Marchenko is a very smart hockey player. Nick Jensen is smart. Ryan Sproul brings a skill set, Brian Lashoff brings a skill set. We'll make a decision after the weekend. We'll get a chance to watch these guys play a couple more games and decide who the best fit is."

DeKeyser had one assist and a plus-2 rating in three preseason games.

The Red Wings open the regular season Oct. 9 against the Maple Leafs. If DeKeyser is out for three weeks, he would miss the first seven games and return Oct. 23 against the Calgary Flames.

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