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Notes: Mike Green out for second straight game

Ryan Sproul takes Green's place in lineup; Henrik Zetterberg leading the way for teammates

by Dana Wakiji @Dwakiji /

PITTSBURGH - The Red Wings will be without Mike Green for at least one more game.

Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Green, who missed Saturday's home game against the Washington Capitals due to illness, is still not available.

Green is considered to be day to day.

Ryan Sproul will once again take Green's spot in the lineup.

"He did a good job," Blashill said. "When Sproully is playing his best, I've talked about it a lot, he's assertive. He's skating with the puck, he's shooting the puck, he's getting back hard for pucks to break them out, so that's going to be the key to his game here tonight."

Sproul played 16:59 against the Capitals and had one shot on goal.

SETTING THE EXAMPLE: The captain and alternate captains of the team are expected to set the example for the rest of the team to follow.

Captain Henrik Zetterberg continues to do so, even though he is now the oldest active player on the team at 36.

"He's been our best player night in and night out. No question about it," Blashill said. "When you talk about a 200-foot game and playing winning hockey, there's no doubt about it. I came into the year, I was going to watch and see, if his play diminished then his ice time would diminish, but his play has done the opposite. He's demanded that he plays more. And as we've gone through the season he's gotten more and more ice time because of that. It just speaks to what level of player he is."

With two more assists on Saturday, Zetterberg increased his team lead in points to 43.

Thomas Vanek is second with 36. Zetterberg leads all Wings forwards in ice time, averaging 19:28 per game.

Before the season, Zetterberg said he wasn't planning to give any ice time away, the other forwards would have to come take it.

"That's the approach he's taken," Blashill said. "And I was very prepared to diminish his ice time if his play diminished, but he's demanded I play him even more. That's the way it's been. I've talked to our young players about making sure they soak in what his approach is about and how competitive you have to be every single day in order to be an elite player. It's easy to be a flash in the pan, it's easy to be good one night and not good the next. It's hard to be great every night. That's what he is."

STICK AUCTION: As part of their celebration of Hockey is for Everyone month, several Wings used special Pride tape on their sticks during warmups.

Those sticks are now being auctioned at with the funds raised going to You Can Play, an organization dedicated to equality, respect and safety for all athletes, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

CROSBY'S 1,000TH: The Penguins will honor captain Sidney Crosby for reaching 1,000 career points in a pre-game ceremony today.

Zetterberg has 879 points in 976 career games so he still could reach that mark.

"For me, it's not a goal," Zetterberg said. "It's hard to reach that nowadays, the way Sid has done it in this era, this fast, is remarkable. Just shows how good an offensive player he is."

Crosby reached the milestone in his 757th career game, faster than any active player.

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