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Rocky return to lineup for Kronwall

Defenseman needed 15 stitches to close morning skate mishaps on Wednesday

Thursday, 10.24.2013 / 10:12 AM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Rocky return to lineup for Kronwall

Niklas Kronwall
Defense  - DET
Goals: 1 | Assists: 6 | Pts: 7
Shots: 15 | +/-: 4
DETROITNiklas Kronwall spent part of his Wednesday in the last place he wanted to be – the hospital.

The veteran defenseman took a puck to the mouth during the Red Wings’ morning skate as he prepared to return to the lineup. Kronwall had missed Detroit’s previous two games against Phoenix and San Jose after sustaining a concussion on a hit from behind by Colorado forward Cody McLeod.

Kronwall was cleared to play against the Ottawa Senators, but the unexpected trip to the hospital changed his return to a game-time decision.

“It was your regular 2-on-1 drill and one of the guys went to pass it over my stick and I got my stick in there,” explained Kronwall. “It bounced right off my blade right to my mouth.”

After 15 stitches and visits to the hospital and dentist, Kronwall was questionable to return to the Red Wings’ lineup against the Senators because of maxillofacial damage. Xavier Ouellet was recalled to Detroit for the evening in case Kronwall couldn’t skate, but the rookie’s services weren’t needed.

Kronwall wasn’t about to let another blow to his head keep him from missing another game.

“That’s how it goes sometimes,” the defenseman said. “Don’t feel sorry for yourself that’s just how it is, put it behind you and move on.”

Kronwall started the night sporting a half shield over his lower mouth for extra protection, but quickly realized that it was more of a distraction than anything else.

“I used it during warm-ups, I wanted to see if it could be protecting around the mouth area a little bit better,” he said. “But I thought it was more in the way than helping really.”

Nothing stood in the way of Ottawa Wednesday night. The Senators broke out to a 3-0 lead over Detroit in the first period, and finished the game scoring another three unanswered goals en route to a 6-1 victory.

Kronwall’s stitches weren’t bothering him after the game, but how he felt about his performance was another matter.

“It’s feeling good, obviously not very happy with our performance, my performance,” Kronwall said. “There’s a lot of things that has to get better.”

After suffering two straight losses, the Red Wings conclude their three-game homestand when they host the New York Rangers in the annual Hockey Fights Cancer Night on Saturday.

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80