Pain too great; Cleary to get knee drained
|Red Wings forward Danny Cleary has been bothered by a painful left knee for months, but the level of discomfort is too great. He'll have the knee drained this week. (Photo by Getty Images)|
“His knee is acting up and it’s been an on-going issue,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said during Thursday’s news conference at Comerica Park to announce next season’s Winter Classic. “He’s going to get it drained and he’s probably out for tomorrow and probably out for Sunday, and then we’ll see Monday how he feels. I don’t think it’s anything long-term.”
With eyes on breaking the NHL record for most consecutive home victories, the Wings, who are two wins from catching the 1929-30 Boston Bruins and 1976 Philadelphia Flyers, will host Anaheim on Friday and the Flyers on Sunday evening.
Cleary left Wednesday’s 4-2 win over Edmonton following a body-check by Oilers forward Ben Eager. The third-period hit sent Cleary awkwardly into the door to the Wings’ bench. Cleary picked up an assist in the win, his sixth point in the last six games.
Rookie forward Jan Mursak is expected to take Cleary’s place on the third line along side Darren Helm and Drew Miller. Mursak has two assists in three games since returning to the lineup. He suffered a fractured ankle in a preseason game in September.
Cleary is one of six players to have played in all 55 games this season. He has 11 goals and 16 assists with a plus-12 rating.
“We were hoping that we could get to the schedule where we have a few less games, but ultimately he couldn’t wait anymore,” Holland said. “But it’s OK, we have to get him healthy and it’s an opportunity for Jan Mursak.
“When Jan Mursak’s gone in there he’s done a good job, so we think we have some pretty good depth.”
Holland also said there’s no news on forward Patrick Eaves, who has been on the injured reserved list since he suffered a broken jaw against Nashville on Nov. 26.
“I think he’s doing better but obviously not well enough to practice,” Holland said. “He got a slap shot right in the head and he’s had concussion-like symptoms so obviously we’re going to be real conservative with him.”
Meanwhile, the Wings have been impressed by the job that rookie Cory Emmerton has done in Eaves’ absence. Emmerton scored his six goal of the season Wednesday.
“Emmerton is all of a sudden, with the injury to (Patrick) Eaves, gotten in every day and he’s done a nice job,” Holland said. “Now it’s time for Jan Mursak.”