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Notebook: Injury sidelines Eaves

by Jeff Sanford / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT – In light of the latest injury to the Red Wings’ group of forwards, they will likely call up someone from Grand Rapids to pick-up the slack when Detroit hosts the Dallas Stars Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.


Third line forward Patrick Eaves joined Valtteri Filppula (knee) and Mike Modano (wrist) on the Red Wings’ list of walking wounded when he suffered a lower-body injury in a collision with San Jose’s Torrey Mitchell during the second period of Tuesday’s game.

Eaves seemed to favor his left leg as he skated to the bench. As of Wednesday afternoon, the extent of Eaves’s injury is still unclear.

“I got no update,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who expects Eaves to miss at least Thursday's game. “Obviously, we just check it out and see what happens.”

Despite participating in practices Tuesday and Wednesday, Filppula also won’t be erady to return before Saturday’s game at Buffalo.. The Wings forward was hopeful to play against Dallas, but after Wednesday’s practice, his return has been delayed. 

“He won’t be playing,” Babcock said. “He’s not ready. It’s the same thing that has been up with him for the last two-and-a-half weeks.

“I’m expecting him back for Buffalo. I was expecting him back (Thursday), but that was delayed.”

Filppula said he feels, “pretty good,” but does not want to rush back and risk further injuries.

“I’m not playing tomorrow, no,” Filppula said. “I try to be smart and hopefully there won’t be any setbacks. Get a couple more practices and get more confidence that it’s going to be good. I think that’s the main thing.”

When asked if Detroit was going to call up somebody for Thursday’s game, Babcock said, “Assume so.” But an official determination hadn’t been made by team management. 

A likely candidate is Griffins forward Jan Mursak, who has already been called up by the Wings two separate times this season. He has skated in 17 games with Detroit, and scored one goal on 18 shots.

CLEARY’S CAREER-HIGH: After a two-goal performance Tuesday against the Sharks, right winger Danny Cleary established a new personal career-best for goals in a single season. He now has 21 goals through 46 games.

Beset by a knee injury last season, Cleary managed 15 goals in 64 games. He topped his previous high of 20 goals, which he achieved twice – in back-to-back seasons, 2006-07 and again in 2007-08. 

Despite missing 14 games with an ankle injury this season, Cleary has found success alongside linemates Pavel Datsyuk and Juri Hudler. Cleary attributes his career milestone to his relatively stable health.

“It feels good,” he said. “It’s just about being healthy and feeling good on my skates.”


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