Henrik Zetterberg and the Wings are fighting to stay among the eight playoff teams in the Western Conference. (David Guralnick / Detroit News)
Anaheim, Calif. — The Red Wings flew to Anaheim Thursday for a start of a trip that will include four games in seven days.
By the time they're done, the Wings will have played seven of eight games on the road. Of course, the only home game was Wednesday's 4-2 dud of a loss against Minnesota.
"There's not many home games left and we wanted to make the best of this one," forward Henrik Zetterberg said. "But we couldn't do it and there's a tough road trip coming up."
It starts with a scheduling oddity — two consecutive road games in Anaheim.
The Ducks defeated Chicago Wednesday and moved to within three points (51-48) of the Blackhawks for the best record in the league. The Ducks have won seven of their last eight.
Anaheim defeated the Wings 5-2 in the only game between the teams this season.
"I really like how fast they're playing," coach Mike Babcock said of the Ducks. "I like their team. They're finding a way every night to get the job done.
"Obviously, this is a huge trip for us, especially after the game (Wednesday)."
The Red Wings conclude this road trip with games in Phoenix (Monday) and San Jose (Thursday).
"We have a long road trip and we just have to start with our first game, then move on to the next one," Zetterberg said. "That's how the schedule is. We had some stretches where we were home a lot and we're paying for that."
Helm not on trip
Forward Darren Helm (back) didn't accompany the Red Wings on this four-game trip.
There was optimism Helm would be playing at some point this week, but persistent pain near the disc beginning last weekend forced him out of skating.
"We thought he would be back (Wednesday); obviously, things haven't gone good," said Babcock, who doesn't know when Helm, who has played in one game this season, will be able to resume working out.
Forward Todd Bertuzzi (back) is on the trip and has begun working out on the stationary bike.
"I see Bert there riding the bike so that's a positive thing for us and a positive thing for Bert," Babcock said.
Said Bertuzzi, who hasn't played since Feb. 7: "As long as I'm getting better and stronger every day and see improvement, I can take different steps (to getting healthy)."
Defenseman Kyle Quincey (fractured cheekbone) isn't on the trip and is waiting for swelling to go down to determine whether he needs surgery.
Forward Patrick Eaves (jaw) was on the ice for Thursday's practice wearing protection after getting hit by a deflected puck during Tuesday's practice at Joe Louis Arena.
Eaves missed the game against Minnesota and Babcock made it seem doubtful Eaves would be back against Anaheim.
Eaves said the jaw is sore, and he considered himself lucky, after getting hit by a slapshot November 2011 off the stick of Nashville's Roman Josi and breaking his jaw then, leading to a concussion.
"Anytime you get hit in the face with the puck it doesn't feel good," said Eaves, who didn't have to get his jaw wired, as he did in 2011. "I dodged a big bullet by not breaking anything. Saying that, it's still pretty darn sore."
Red Wings at Ducks
Faceoff: Friday, 10 p.m.
TV / radio: Fox Sports Detroit / 97.1 The Ticket.
Records: Red Wings 14-11-5, 33 points; Ducks 22-3-4, 48 points.