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Zetterberg being monitored after taking punches to head

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall celebrates after scoring the winning goal.

Dallas — Now the Red Wings will have to worry about Henrik Zetterberg.

The star forward didn't play in the third period of Saturday's 7-6 overtime victory over Dallas after taking two punches to the head in the second period from Dallas forward Jamie Benn.

Zetterberg was noticeably dazed on the bench after the punches, but quickly returned to the ice and played 11 minutes, 24 seconds through two periods.

General manager Ken Holland said after the game the team will wait to see how Zetterberg feels Sunday in Anaheim.

"We'll know more tomorrow (Sunday)," said Holland, who added Zetterberg was flying with the team to California.

Coach Mike Babcock didn't have a clear update after the game.

"I don't have a clue, we'll monitor tomorrow and see what happens," said Babcock, who added he didn't see the punches from Benn, which drew a roughing penalty at 3:30. "Let's just say he has an upper body injury. (Trainer) Piet (Van Zandt) said we'll evaluate him."

Zetterberg's teammates weren't happy with Benn's punches.

"He got punched in the head," Niklas Kronwall said. "I don't know if it was once, or twice even, when Benn got his penalty. I saw it on the Jumbotron. It didn't look very good. Hopefully Hank will recover and we'll get him back soon."

Said Justin Abdelkader: "That's tough to see. I saw a replay of it. It looked like he got punched in the head. I imagine the NHL will take a look at that. He's (Zetterberg) been playing so well for us and hopefully he's all right. That's a tough play and you never like to see that in hockey and especially Z has been playing so well for us. He's a big part of our team and hopefully he's all right."

Kindl sighting

The Red Wings got right back in Saturday's game when Jakub Kindl scored twice in the opening moments of the third period.

It was the third and fourth goals of the season for Kindl, who played his first game since playing two games in Grand Rapids on a conditioning stint.

Kindl last played an NHL game Dec. 27, before hurting his elbow the next day at practice. After that, Kindl never did find his way back into the Red Wings lineup.

But Kindl singlehandedly got the Red Wings back in the game, after Dallas exploded for three goals in three minutes late in the second period.

"He made the decision to go to the minors and play a little bit because he hadn't played in a long time," Babcock said. "He has to feel real good about himself, which is good."

Kindl played 17:36 Saturday, had two goals, and was plus-2 for the evening.

"It's been awhile since the last game I played with the Red Wings," said Kindl, who felt going to the AHL for a couple of games was beneficial. "The injury slowed me down and the team has been playing real good so there hasn't been a lot of changes.

"I talked to Babs and Kenny and they came up with this idea to go down to Grand Rapids and play a lot of games. I felt great the first game (in GR), got into a game situation, and as the game went on and the days went by, I felt even better."

The speed of the NHL affected Kindl early, he said, but he adjusted.

"I haven't played at this level for quite a bit," Kindl said.

Ice chips

Alexey Marchenko's assist on Gustav Nyquist's first goal was Marchenko's first NHL point.

… Forwards Daniel Cleary and Joakim Andersson and defenseman Kyle Quincey (lower body) were scratched. Tomas Jurco returned to the lineup and replaced Andersson.

… This was the first time Dallas had scored six goals against the Red Wings since Jan. 8, 2006, a span of 34 games.

ted.kulfan@detroitnews.com

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