Status of Zetterberg, Pulkkinen uncertain
Anaheim, Calif. — The Red Wings will know at Monday's morning skate whether they'll have their full lineup against the Anaheim Ducks.
Henrik Zetterberg (upper body) and Teemu Pulkkinen (leg) both didn't practice Sunday after being injured the night before in the wild 7-6 overtime win over Dallas.
Both stayed in the training room Sunday, and nobody from general manager Ken Holland, to coach Mike Babcock, to Pulkkinen, who spoke to reporters, would rule anyone completely out.
"Let's see how they feel (Monday)," Holland said.
Babcock is waiting until the morning skate to see if either player is ready.
"We'll have a better handle on it (Monday)," Babcock said. "Neither guy skated (Sunday). We'll see. We still have enough hands on deck if we don't have them.
"We tried to get it all organized (Sunday), just in case (they aren't available)."
Zetterberg was involved in a battle in front of the Dallas net in the second period, and was punched twice in the head by Stars forward Jamie Benn.
Zetterberg appeared dazed after heading to the bench but finished the period, though he didn't come out for the third period.
"He was in the room (Sunday) talking with (Gustav) Nyquist about who was going to buy dinner," said Babcock, hinting the injury may not be overly serious.
If Zetterberg isn't ready to play?
"It'll be a big challenge," Justin Abdelkader said. "He's our leader. He brings so much to the table, not just his on-ice presence. But it's an opportunity for other guys to step up and we have to come together and find a way to win, whoever is in the lineup."
Pulkkinen hurt his leg in the first period but kept on playing.
Joakim Andersson and Daniel Cleary would enter the lineup if Zetterberg and Pulkkinen are unable to play, with Riley Sheahan going up to the second line, with Nyquist and Abdelkader.
"Someone has to play," Babcock said. "You have to step up. Opportunity knocks. Someone has to play against (Ryan) Getzlaf and (Ryan) Kesler. You have to play."
Said goaltender Jimmy Howard: "It's been a group effort all season. Everyone has had their moment in the sun. It's not been on a few guys."
Everyone was still buzzing about Saturday's back-and-forth offensive throwdown against Dallas, a game straight out of the 1980s with defense an afterthought.
Howard had an even better description, though.
"The only thing missing was a cooler of beer on both benches for after the pond hockey game," Howard said.
The Red Wings twice overcame two-goal deficits in the third period, while outshooting the Stars 17-6 in the final 20 minutes and pulling out the victory on Niklas Kronwall's goal 36 seconds into overtime.
"Was it ugly? Absolutely," Babcock said. "That's just the way it went. Our team did a good job of finding a way to win. There's way more energy in the room when you win than when you don't win."
Still, the Red Wings realize they can't play that freewheeling style and be successful this week playing against playoff-caliber teams.
"It's probably entertaining for the fans but from a team standpoint we can't play like that," Howard said. "We gave up odd-man rushes, we turned the puck over. We have to eliminate that. We're not going to be successful playing like that. We have to be smarter with the puck, otherwise we're living on the edge."
The Red Wings and Ducks had a brewing rivalry the last few seasons the Red Wings played in the Western Conference.
That includes the tense seven-game, first-round series in the lockout-shortened 2013 postseason won by the Red Wings.
"Anaheim, Chicago, I'd say those were the two big rivals," Abdelkader said. "We know these teams, their tendencies and how we need to play to win."
The Ducks (37-16-7, 81 points) lead the Pacific Division.
Red Wings at Ducks
Faceoff: 10 Monday, Honda Center, Anaheim, Calif.
Outlook: Anaheim won the previous game between the teams in October, 3-2, on C Ryan Getzlaf's last-second goal. … The Ducks have won their last two games. … Getzlaf (38 assists, 57 points) and RW Corey Perry (24 goals, 41 points) continue to be the nucleus of this team.