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Red Wings lose Ericsson, gain Kronwall

by Brian Hedger /

DETROIT -- The start of this week was a roller coaster of emotions for Detroit Red Wings defenseman Jonathan Ericsson.

After the birth of his first child Monday, Ericsson received some bad news after an MRI showed damage to his left shoulder that will keep him out at least 2-3 weeks.

Ericsson, who missed his team's 1-0 shootout loss against the San Jose Sharks on Monday at Joe Louis Arena, was injured in a collision in front of the net in the third period of a 5-2 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday night at Arena.

"It felt bad right away," Ericsson said. "But then after the game, we re-evaluated it and it felt a lot better. Then the next day it was a lot worse again and it was pretty much the same [Monday]."

The original plan was for Ericsson to get the shoulder diagnosed as soon as the team plane landed in Detroit after the game against Phoenix, but news came during the flight that his wife's water had broken. He rushed back to drive her to the hospital for the birth of their daughter, Liv, late Monday morning.

"The timing was awesome," Ericsson said. "Evelina's water broke about 30 or 40 minutes before we landed in Detroit and we just made it home in time to bring her to the hospital."

Ericsson's newborn daughter is named for friend and former teammate Stefan Liv, who died along with the rest of his Lokomotiv teammates in a September 2011 plane crash.

"We liked the name, but also it has a little history with our very good friend Stefan Liv, so it's kind of in honor of him too," Ericsson said. "He was a good friend and a guy I really respected a lot. We really liked the name and then with the meaning, too, it felt even better."

While Ericsson will be out, the team likely will have his defense partner, Niklas Kronwall, back in the lineup for the Red Wings' game Wednesday against the Ottawa Senators. Kronwall had missed the past two games with a concussion sustained on an illegal hit by the Colorado Avalanche's Cody McLeod during a game Thursday.

After practicing with the team Tuesday and Wednesday, Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said Kronwall had been cleared to play. To make room on the roster, defenseman Xavier Ouellet was returned to the Red Wings' American Hockey League affiliate, the Grand Rapids Griffins.

Ericsson said surgery to repair his shoulder has not been discussed as an option at this point, with the team hoping to cure the issue with rest and rehab.

Without Kronwall and Ericsson, the Red Wings' youth-led defense held the high-scoring Sharks without a goal in regulation -- which impressed Detroit coach Mike Babcock.

"I thought they played real well," Babcock said. "I thought [Brian Lashoff] and [Jakub Kindl] had a real strong game for us. I thought [Danny DeKeyser] and [Kyle Quincey] have been good for awhile and DeKeyser continues to get better and [Xavier] Ouellet looked real comfortable and I thought [Brendan Smith] was real strong and pretty much mistake free. It was a good game for our team that way."

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