Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson will require surgery next week to repair his fractured right wrist and is expected to miss 12 weeks, general manager Ken Holland told the Detroit Free Press on Friday.
The Red Wings placed Ericsson on long-term injured reserve.
Ericsson was injured when he was hit from behind into the boards by Nicklas Backstrom in the first period of a 6-3 loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday. After the game, coach Jeff Blashill estimated Ericsson would miss 6-8 weeks but warned that "I don't have a total timetable."
The 12-week estimate would sideline Ericsson, 32, until early May, meaning that if the Red Wings are going to extend their streak of qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs to 26 seasons, they'll do it without him. With 28 games remaining, they are 22-22-10, six points out of the second wild card in the Eastern Conference, entering their game Saturday at the Columbus Blue Jackets (5 p.m. ET; FS-O, FS-D, NHL.TV).
Video: DET@TOR: Ericsson cranks a one-timer into the twine
Blashill said the Red Wings will miss Ericsson, who's often matched against the opposition's top line.
"Obviously, losing Jonny is a big loss," Blashill told the Free Press. "That's part of this world we live in. Other guys [have to] step up. We've got a number of guys that are NHL players at the [defenseman] position. We'll have to continue to rely on that depth."
The Red Wings recalled goaltender Jimmy Howard from a conditioning loan to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. Howard remains on injured reserve after tweaking his sprained right knee in the third period of 4-1 win against Manitoba on Wednesday and is expected to remain off the ice at least until Monday.