Wings All-Star defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom
left Monday’s game in the first period with what team spokesman John Hahn called a sprained right knee.
The good news is that the Red Wings snapped a six-game losing streak, defeating the Colorado Avalanche, 4-0, in Denver.
With the game scoreless in the first, Lidstrom was injured when he pinched in from the blue line and was hit hard into the boards by Avs forward Ian Laperriere. It appeared that Laperriere caught Lidstrom in the chin or throat with a forearm or gloved fist.
At first, it was thought that Lidstrom may have suffered a head injury.
The play occurred during a Wings’ power play at 6:10 of the first, while Avs forward Ryan Smyth was serving a minor penalty for slashing. Hahn said the injury to Lidstrom doesn't appear to be too serious, but Hahn noted that Lidstrom sat out the remainder of the game as a precaution.
Lidstrom is scheduled to undergo an MRI on his injured right knee Wednesday morning and review the results with team physicians. The Wings will have an update on Lidstrom's status following Wednesday's afternoon practice at Joe Louis Arena.
Lidstrom struggled to get back on his skates and for a moment was held up along the boards by referee Mike Hasenfratz, who blew his whistle and signaled to the Wings’ bench for help. Seconds later, Lidstrom needed assistance to get off the ice by left wing Henrik Zetterbreg and trainer Piet Van Zant.
Late in the first, Wings forward Aaron Downey instigated a fight with Laperriere. For his efforts, Downey earned 17-minutes for fighting, instigating and a 10-minute misconduct.
Downey scrapped with the Avs again in the first minute of the third period. After Mikael Samuelsson accidentally caught Laperriere with a high-stick, a scrum ensued with Downey and Cody McLeod exchanging fists.
Lidstrom, a five-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's best defenseman, is arguably the most durable player in league history, having played in 1,430 games, including the playoffs, since joining the team in 1991.
With Brian Rafalski (groin) and Niklas Kronwall
(clavicle) already sidelined prior to Monday, the Red Wings definately don't need more bad news on their defensive corp. Detroit was forced to finish Monday’s game with five defensemen, including little-used Derek Meech and recent call-up Kyle Quincey
Meech led the Wings in ice time, compiling a career-high 24:26 in 28 shifts, and four shots on goal.