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Detroit โ€” For perhaps the definition of an injury-riddled franchise, it was another bracing moment.

Gustav Nyquist injured a knee late in the third period against the Bruins Saturday and woke up "stiff and sore," according to general manager Ken Holland.

Despite Nyquist bent over at the bench, for some moments, before leaving the ice favoring the injury, the Red Wings said it was not believed to be serious.

Holland reiterated that Sunday.

"No news," he said.

Nyquist was examined by a doctor after the game.

Asked about an MRI, Holland said, "No moves planned. We'll go to The Joe Monday and see how he feels."

Last season was almost like a fairy tale for the 25-year-old forward. He led the Wings with 28 goals and all NHL scorers from Jan. 20 to the end of the season, with 23.

He was the youngest player to lead the team in game-winning goals (6) since Sergei Fedorov had 10, at age 24, in 1993-94.

It was only the second exhibition game for Nyquist, as the Red Wings continue to play with two squads on a split roster, and he said he was looking forward to more action.

"So far, the group I'm in, we've only played one game so far, Chicago away," Nyquist said. "It's nice to be back in it."

Kindl has competition

Moving the puck on the back end remains a critical priority for the Red Wings, and at age 27, with four seasons under his belt, Jakub Kindl continues as a contender.

Drafted 19th overall in 2005 and signed for three more seasons, Kindl's offensive promise was evident in the development and minor leagues, when he garnered 23 goals and 90 assists for Kitchener in 2005-06 and 2006-07 and 27 and 30 assists for Grand Rapids in 2008-09 and 2009-10.

His NHL totals are nine goals and 40 assists, in 213 games, including two goals and 17 assists in 2013-14, his best offensive season.

But now, as Kindl reaches the age when some young defensemen break out, he is facing stiff competition for playing time from an emerging group from Grand Rapids.

"We're looking for guys who can move the puck," coach Mike Babcock said. "We need top-four D. That's what we're looking for, every day.

"We're trying to give it to somebody. There's lots of minutes for you."

They especially need help on the power play, on which Niklas Kronwall is essentially the only quarterback for the two squads.

Kindl was paired with Danny DeKeyser against the Bruins Saturday, in a top-four pairing for that game. But the roster is split in the preseason, and defensemen from Grand Rapids such as Xavier Oullet, Ryan Sproul, Alexey Marchenko and Mattias Backman are intent on providing the Wings with what they need.

"It's a competition," said Kindl, who has spent most of the last four offseasons training in Michigan. "We have great depth and every time the guys come up from the minors, they're always ready."

"We play the same system down there, so that makes it a little easier.

"There's always things to work on. Every game, every plan, we're all trying to pull the same rope."

Roster moves

The Wings announced late Saturday they had assigned forward Marek Tvrdon and goaltenders Jared Coreau and Jake Paterson to Grand Rapids and released forward Tyler Barnes and defensemen Brennan Evans and Nathan Paetsch from their tryouts.

gregg.krupa@detroitnews.com

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Maple Leafs at Red Wings

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Monday, Joe Louis Arena, Detroit

TV/radio: FSD/97.1

Outlook: Both teams are still playing with split rosters, as the Wings test which Grand Rapids defensemen and forwards can remain with the team, and the Leafs โ€” under new general manager Brendan Shanahan โ€” look for a roster to end a 47-year Stanley Cup drought.

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