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Zetterberg is day-to-day, Cleary on IR

by Bill Roose / Detroit Red Wings
Henrik Zetterberg will miss his first game of the season when the Red Wings to go their 22nd straight win Friday. Meanwhile, Danny Cleary was placed on IR (Photo by Getty Images)
DETROIT – Just when Henrik Zetterberg seemed to turn a corner, a lower-body injury will likely sideline the Red Wings’ center for the first time this season, forcing him to miss Friday’s home game against Nashville.

Coach Mike Babcock said he thought Zetterberg was injured on his first shift in Tuesday’s record-setting game against Dallas. Zetterberg even scored in the 3-1 win over the Stars, which established a new NHL record for most-consecutive home wins at 21straight.

“I don’t think it’s the end of the world here,” Babcock said. “We’re playing real well. It’s an opportunity.”

Grand Rapids forward Tomas Tatar will get a chance to make his NHL season debut Friday against the Predators. To make room for Tatar on the roster the Wings placed Danny Cleary (knee) on injured reserve, retroactive to Feb. 8.

Cleary, who had his left knee drained last week, required a follow-up procedure this week. He originally thought he’d missed just two games after having two Baker’s cysts drained of fluid last Thursday.

But he needed the cysts drained again Tuesday.

“The knee is still a little swollen and tender,” said Cleary, who returned to practice Thursday. “I don't want to come back and a month from now I'll have to get it drained again and get surgery, so I'd rather wait as long as I can.

“Rest will help for a little bit and then you got to see how it responds and you just hope nothing happens with it and it lasts through the year.”

Zetterberg is day-to-day, which is frustrating since he’s had nine points in the last six games.

“Yeah, it’s kind of bad timing,” he said. “I was starting to feel good again and this happened. … Day to day today, we'll put it like that for today and then see tomorrow.”

Zetterberg said he knew that he was injured, but it didn’t become problematic until Wednesday.

“With an injury like that, you're warm and in the game, I think it's easier to keep playing,” he said. “I kind of expected it was going to be worse the day after. Treatment yesterday, treatment today, we'll see tomorrow.”

In 49 games with the Griffins, Tatar has 13 goals and 23 assists.

“He’s been playing real well down there, the best player in Grand Rapids,” Babcock said. “We like to reward guys who are playing good.”

Babcock indicated that Justin Abdelkader will play between Jiri Hudler and Valtteri Filppula on the Wings’ second forward line.

Tatar will likely skate on a wing with center Cory Emmerton and forward Tomas Holmstrom.

With Zetterberg sidelined Friday that leaves four players – Abdelkader, Jonathan Ericsson, Johan Franzen and Niklas Kronwall – to appear in every game this season.

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