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Jonathan Ericsson hurt in first period in Washington

Fractured wrist will keep defenseman out for extended period of time

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji / DetroitRedWings.com

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Red Wings have yet another injury to add to the list, a serious one at that.

At 15:51 of the first period in Washington, Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom hit defenseman Jonathan Ericsson behind the Detroit net.

Ericsson was down for a minute but skated off on his own, accompanied by athletic trainer Piet Van Zant.

Ericsson immediately went to the dressing room and Backstrom was sent to the penalty box for boarding.

Wings coach Jeff Blashill announced after the game that Ericsson has a fractured wrist.

"We don't have a timetable for sure, but I'd say minimum for a while, looking at maybe eight weeks," Blashill said.

Niklas Kronwall is expected to return soon from a lower-body injury, perhaps as early as this weekend, but losing a veteran like Ericsson will hurt.

"People don't have enough respect for what 6-foot-5 and good skating can do for you," Blashill said. "When you're against big, physical men you need guys that can go against them and handle them as he can. And I've said that lots, he doesn't get enough respect for that he brings to the table. He's a big, physical defenseman that can play against the very best in the league, so when we lost him it's obviously a big loss. It's going to be a big loss for us moving forward. With that said, we got enough good players, we got to find ways to win with the guys we got."

Justin Abdelkader said a young defenseman will get another opportunity.

"We've had a lot of young guys come in and play well," Abdelkader said. "It's another chance now. I imagine (Xavier) Ouellet's going to get another opportunity to come back in, he's been playing g great for us so that's positive. Guys have got some games, got some more minutes maybe with injuries and I think that's good for us overall. But it's always tough when you go through a year like we have so far with injuries. But at the same time, you can't make that an excuse, you just got to keep moving forward here."

The Wings scored on the ensuing power play, Andreas Athanasiou's second of the game and 13th of the season.

At the start of the second period, the Wings announced that Ericsson had an upper-body injury and would not return.

The Wings came into the game with 222 man-games missed to the Capitals' 19.

But the Capitals also lost a player to an upper-body injury in the first.

The Capitals announced in the second that forward Andre Burakovsky would not return.

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