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First win brings more bad news

Wings recall Nyquist from Griffins; sign veteran D-man Huskins

Tuesday, 01.22.2013 / 1:08 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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First win brings more bad news
Defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo was injured on this play when he was checked by the Blue Jackets' Cam Atkinson in the third period of Monday's game. (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT – While the Red Wings claimed their first victory of the season on Monday in Columbus, they took another loss in the injury column.

Sometime during the 4-3 shootout win over the Blue Jackets, veteran winger Mikael Samuelsson re-aggravated the groin that he injured during last week’s training camp in Plymouth.

“It’s frustrating,” said Samuelsson, who is the eighth Wings’ player to suffer an injury or long-term illness in the first week of the season. “You come here, you want to obviously perform, but I’m used to it. I’ve been injured before. You’ve got to stay patient, especially with a groin. Work on it and come back stronger.”

Samuelsson’s absence creates a void on the second line, which will be filled in tonight’s home opener by speedy forward Gustav Nyquist, who was called up from Grand Rapids this morning.

“I expect him to be really good,” coach Mike Babcock said. “He’s thinks he’s an NHL player, we think he’s a top-two line NHL player we just haven’t had room for him here. We’re just trying to sort out our forwards. He’s going to play here on a line with (Johan) Franzen and (Valtteri) Filppula and play right on the power play.”

The Wings also lost another defenseman when Carlo Colaiacovo suffered a left shoulder injury in the third period of Monday’s game. It’s the same shoulder that he sprained while playing for Team Canada in the Spengler Cup last month. It’s expected that Colaiacovo, who will meet with team doctors later today, will miss a significant chunk of games.

Jonathan Ericsson will not play against the Dallas Stars tonight, sitting out his second straight game, after hurting a hip in practice on Sunday.

The injuries, especially those along the blue line, have already forced the coaching staff to making tweaks to their system, Babcock said.

“How we started and how we are right now we already changed just because of that. We had to,” he said. “I think we’re going to be way better than people think. I think we’re going to be a work in progress, but we’re going to be fine.”

With only five healthy defensemen available, and no veteran depth to choose from in Grand Rapids, the Wings felt it was necessary to find a veteran guy who brings experience, and can play on the penalty kill while playing safe and steady in the defensive zone.

The Wings signed 33-year-old Kent Huskins, who won a Stanley Cup as a rookie with the Anaheim Ducks in 2007. The 6-foot-4 defenseman, who was on a professional tryout last weekend with the AHL’s Norfolk Admirals, will be in the Wings’ opening night lineup.

It’s expected that four players – Ericsson, Darren Helm (back), Todd Bertuzzi (flu) and Jakub Kindl (groin) – will be healthy enough to return by Friday when the Wings host the Minnesota Wild at Joe Louis Arena.

The biggest relief for the Wings was learning that Bertuzzi, diagnosed with mononucleosis last Friday, tested negative for the virus on Monday. Instead of missing weeks, Bertuzzi will miss three games with the flu.

“I was excited to hear the news,” Bertuzzi said. “The last thing I want to do is spend a month in bed waiting to come back knowing that it would take two weeks to get going again. A month and a half pretty much lost, so I was happy with the news and will try to get back as soon as I can now.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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