|Pavel Datsyuk missed much of last season with a bothersome knee. On Monday, the Red Wings' star center injured a shoulder when he was hit by Penguins defenseman Rob Scuderi. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings) |
TRAVERSE CITY – Coming off their most injury-riddled season in recent history, the Red Wings got banged up in just their first preseason game Monday in Pittsburgh.
Pavel Datsyuk suffered a shoulder injury late in their 2-1 victory over the Penguins at Consol Energy Center. Datsyuk doesn’t believe the injury is serious – estimating he’ll miss one week – however, he’s scheduled to have an MRI on his right shoulder either later today or Wednesday in Detroit.
“I (don’t) want to miss much time, just I hope one week,” Datsyuk said. “We’ll see.”
Datsyuk was not expected to play in the Wings’ exhibition game in Chicago tonight, and he will miss Thursday’s preseason home-opener against the Blackhawks.
Wednesday is an off day for the Red Wings who finished up training camp today. Datsyuk said he hopes to practice Friday at Joe Louis Arena.
“I think last night they thought it was pretty serious,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I didn’t think he was feeling that bad today. I think he was surprised. We’ll get it checked out and we’ll know more. But I’m not as worried as I was last night.“
The Wings’ top-line center was hit by defenseman Rob Scuderi with 5:31 left in regulation. As Datsyuk skated into the offensive zone he was driven into the rounded glass, designed to protect players, at the end of Pittsburgh’s bench. He skated off the ice and did not return to the game.
Asked if he had lingering effects from the hit, Datsyuk said, “It’s too early to say anything. After the first night, it’s not too bad. I just think it could be worse.”
Datsyuk’s new linemate, Darren Helm, was also injured in Monday’s game. He suffered a broken nose and needed a few stitches to close a cut under his left eye after he received a high stick from Beau Bennett with 5:02 left in the first period. Bennett received a double minor for high sticking. Helm, who finished the game, did not skate at Centre ICE Arena today.
Wings rookie defenseman Ryan Sproul also stayed off the ice today. He had some soreness from a hit by Penguins defenseman Robert Bortuzzo.
Both Helm and Sproul are OK, Babcock said.
Last season, Datsyuk topped a laundry list of Red Wings who missed significant playing time because of injuries, including Helm and Henrik Zetterberg. Datsyuk missed 37 regular-season games, first with a concussion, then a persistent left knee injury that hampered his mobility for the final four months of the season. His 45 games played is the fewest number of games in his NHL career, and the 37 points is the lowest since he was a rookie in 2001-02.
But Datsyuk said he’s not wary of injuries after last season.
“Everything can happen but don’t worry about some things,” he said. “It’s hockey.”
WINGS IN CHI-TOWN: The Red Wings travel to Chicago to face the Blackhawks at United Center tonight. Here are the expected line combinations and defensive pairings that the Red Wings will deploy in their second of eight exhibition games this preseason:
Lines: Johan Franzen, Henrik Zetterberg, Gustav Nyquist; Justin Abdelkader, Stephen Weiss, Kevin Porter; Teemu Pulkkinen, Luke Glendening, Mitch Callahan; and Andrej Nestrasil, Tomas Nosek, Landon Ferraro. Defensive pairings: Danny DeKeyser and Jakub Kindl; Kyle Quincey and Brendan Smith; and Brian Lashoff and Aaron Rome. Goalies: Jonas Gustavsson and Petr Mrazek.
DetroitRedWings.com editorial assistant Craig Peterson contributed to this report.