VANCOUVER – Make it a baker’s dozen.
With the news that Kyle Quincey will likely need surgery to repair a fractured cheek bone, the veteran defenseman becomes the 13th player who will miss significant time away from the lineup this season.
Quincey suffered the facial injury Friday night during the third period of the Red Wings’ 3-2 overtime win at Edmonton. He was struck in the face when a puck rode up the shaft of his stick from a shot by Oilers center Jordan Eberle.
Quincey stayed behind in Edmonton where an evaluation on Saturday morning confirmed the fracture. Not knowing if the bone was fractured or not, Quincey was left behind as the team flew on to Vancouver late Friday night. Wings officials were concerned that cabin pressure associated with air travel would exasperate matters for Quincey.
“It sounds like he's going to need surgery, obviously it ramped up his stick and hit him in the face,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It's disappointing for him. Kyle was starting to skate better and be more effective for us.”
In 26 games, Quincey had a goal and an assist with a plus-8 rating, which is second-best among Red Wings’ defensemen this season.
Quincey is scheduled to return to Detroit today, and he will be re-evaluated by team doctors at some point next week.
Babcock hesitated to guess at a timetable for Quincey’s return.
“I don't imagine he's returning very quickly,” Babcock said. “I don't know if you're allowed after a certain amount of time to play with a full shield. We'll find out”
In the meantime, defenseman Ian White, who has been a healthy scratch for eight of the last nine games, will suit up for tonight’s game against the Canucks at Rogers Arena.
The Red Wings are still without several key roster pieces, including center Darren Helm (back), forwards Todd Bertuzzi (back) and Mikael Samuelsson (fractured finger), and defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo, who are all out indefinitely.
At least one other forward was also injured in Friday's win. Babcock would only say that the unidentified player is a game-time decision tonight.
Besides the injuries to Quincey and the unnamed forward, Jimmy Howard was feeling a little under the weather too following Friday’s game at Rexall Place.
The veteran goalie needed to be pumped full of intravenous fluids before he left the arena.
“I felt really good during the game until the third period, that's when stuff started to go downhill,” said Howard, who missed Wednesday’s game in Calgary with an illness. “I guess it was just dehydration from having the flu, and thinking I was fine to go and not getting enough fluids in me.”
Howard will start against the Canucks. Though he’s getting over the flu, and playing in his fifth set of back-to-back nights this season, Howard, who is 6-2-0 in the four previous sets, said he isn’t concerned about tonight.
“I approach every single game the same way,” he said. “Just go out there and give the guys a chance.”
Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose
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