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In a career that spanned nearly a quarter-century, Steve Yzerman helped transform the Detroit Red Wings from NHL doormats to three-time Stanley Cup winners.
The Red Wings will honor Yzerman by retiring his No. 19 before meeting the short-handed Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena on Tuesday.
Having spent all 22 of his seasons with Detroit, Yzerman's 1,063 assists are the most in franchise history and his 692 goals and 1,755 points are second behind only Gordie Howe. Yzerman also was the longest-serving captain in NHL history, starting in 1986-87 until his retirement after last season.
Detroit (24-9-5) missed the playoffs in 12 of 13 seasons before Yzerman joined the team in 1983, when he set team rookie scoring records with 39 goals and 87 points. Two seasons later after he was named captain, the Red Wings would become a fixture in the playoffs, missing the postseason just twice.
With Yzerman, the Red Wings ended a 42-year championship drought with back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1997 and 1998 before winning a third in 2002. A 10-time All-Star, Yzerman made 20 postseason appearances and he ranks eighth all-time in the NHL with 185 playoff points.
"I've enjoyed every aspect," Yzerman said after announcing his retirement in July. "My whole career has really been a highlight in that I've really enjoyed playing. At the age of 5 and before that I really wanted to be an NHL player. It's all I ever wanted to do."
Yzerman was named vice president of the club in September, and his number becomes the sixth to be retired by Detroit, joining those belonging to Terry Sawchuk (1), Ted Lindsay (7), Howe (9), Alex Delvecchio (10) and Sid Abel (12).
The Red Wings won their third in a row on Sunday, beating Los Angeles 6-2 as six players scored and Dominik Hasek made 28 saves for his 20th win. Detroit also has won four in a row at home, outscoring opponents 17-4.
Injury-riddled Anaheim (28-7-6) will play its first game after losing defenseman Chris Pronger to a broken left foot. The four-time All-Star was injured during the Ducks' 4-3 loss to Minnesota on Sunday when he blocked a shot by the Wild's Mark Parrish.
"It wasn't really that hard of a shot. It just catches you on the right spot and there's not much padding down there," said Pronger, who tried briefly to skate after the shot. "Every time I went to push off, it didn't feel very good."
Pronger was acquired by Anaheim in a July trade from Edmonton after he led the eighth-seeded Oilers to an unlikely Stanley Cup finals berth. A former Hart and Norris Trophy winner, Pronger is the NHL's top-scoring defenseman this season with 40 points in 41 games.
Pronger adds to a growing list of injuries for the Ducks. Goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, who leads the league with 23 wins, has missed the last two games with a strained groin.
Giguere is listed as day-to-day along with forward Todd Marchant, who has been out since Dec. 23 with an abdominal strain. Defenseman Francois Beauchemin is out indefinitely with a lacerated spleen suffered in last Tuesday's 4-3 loss to San Jose, the same game in which Giguere got hurt.
Despite the injuries, Anaheim leads the league with 62 points, one more than Buffalo.
Teemu Selanne scored twice in the loss to Minnesota for his second straight two-goal game. He's scored 13 of his team-high 23 goals this season on the road, and has goals in three of his last four visits to Detroit.
The Ducks beat the Red Wings 4-1 on Oct. 18 in the teams' only meeting this season.
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