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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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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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