Wings taking precautions with Henrik Zetterberg
Anaheim, Calif. — Henrik Zetterberg didn't play Monday and isn't likely to play Tuesday in Los Angeles.
After that, no one's quite sure.
Zetterberg was punched in the head Saturday in Dallas by Stars forward Jamie Benn and is still recovering.
"He doesn't feel 100 percent," Wings general manager Ken Holland said. "We're not going to put a player on the ice who doesn't feel 100 percent and who has been punched in the head.
"He had a bit of a headache (Sunday). I don't think he has one today (Monday). (But) he doesn't feel right."
Nobody around the Red Wings is calling the injury a concussion, although they're taking similar precautions.
"Anytime anyone gets punched in the head, and in the world we live in today he doesn't feel quite right, you don't put that player back in the game," Holland said. "That's what (is done) with any player."
Monday's game against Anaheim was the first Zetterberg sat out this season. Zetterberg had played all 57 games, with a team-leading 49 points (15 goals, 34 assists).
Daniel Cleary replaced Zetterberg in the lineup and Riley Sheahan is likely to take over the majority of ice time Zetterberg nornally plays.
"Guys dug in and found a way to win (Saturday) and that's what I expect," coach Mike Babcock said. "It's more opportunity for other people."
Babcock wasn't expecting Zetterberg to play Tuesday in Los Angeles but wouldn't speculate beyond that.
"I don't have a clue, I just change the lines," Babcock said. "They don't tell me. They just tell me when they're ready.
"I sat with him (Zetterberg) at lunch. He seems to be OK."
One of the players expected to get more ice time with Zetterberg out is Riley Sheahan.
Sheahan capitalized on the increased responsibility in Monday's 4-3 shootout loss against Anaheim, scoring the tying goal in the third period, his 10th goal.
Sheahan has 10 goals and 18 assists but Babcock said before Monday's game he'd like to see more consistency.
"Not enough (consistency)," Babcock said. "He's a good player and he's getting better, but he's a kid. I think he's better than he thinks he is. Now, you ask him that and he won't agree, but he has more upside than he shows every day.
"He has to dig in and compete and play. He's going to play against (Ryan) Getzlaf and (Ryan) Kesler (against Anaheim) and those are real good hockey players, so it's an opportunity for him and that's what all these are for him. You find players.
"Everyone wants more ice time. Nobody has ever come to me and asked to play less. When you get more ice time, let's see what they can do with it."
Babcock liked what he saw Monday out of Sheahan and his line with Gustav Nyquist and Justin Abdelkader.
"Sheahan had a good night going against Getzlaf's line," Babcock said. "Sheahan's line was real good all night long. They had the puck a lot and played good."
The Ducks stayed close enough Monday and eventually were rewarded with a victory.
"We hung in," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We stayed within striking distance of a team that was outplaying us the first two periods. In the third period when you're getting outplayed, you get that goal and you get some emotion in the game."
Andrew Cogliano (Michigan) began the Ducks comeback with a rebound goal past Jimmy Howard.
"He (Howard) was letting pucks out in front of him, and those are goals we need to get this time of year," Cogliano said. "It turned when we didn't panic getting down by two. We stuck to the game plan and kept forcing them, putting more pressure on them. You get one and you start feeling good, the crowd gets into it and you get a couple more."
The Red Wings were waiting to see the status for Teemu Pulkinnen (leg) but Pulkkinen felt he was good enough after the warm-ups and wound up playing just over eight minutes with three shots on net.
… Joakim Andersson was expected to replace Zetterberg but was sick, so Cleary entered the lineup.
… Babcock said goalie Jonas Gustavsson would start Tuesday in Los Angeles.
Gustavsson relieved Jimmy Howard in the third period Saturday in Dallas and earned the victory as the Red Wings rallied.
This will be Gustavsson's first start since he separated his shoulder Nov. 5 against the New York Rangers.
"He's starting for sure," Babcock said. "He got 10 minutes (of playing time) the other night and got the win. Good for him."
… Kyle Quincey (lower leg) will see another specialist to get an opinion on some floating chips that have forced him out of the lineup the last two games.
Jakub Kindl remained in the lineup for Quincey.
… Babcock decided to cancel Monday's morning skate, as the Red Wings go through one of their busiest, most grueling road trips in many seasons.
"We just have to worry about today," Babcock said. "We're ready to go. We don't have to worry about anything but today."
Red Wings at Kings
Faceoff: 10:30 Tuesday, Staples Center, Los Angeles
Outlook: The Red Wings won the first game between the teams in October. ... The Kings enter the game with a 7-game winning streak…C Jeff Carter (46 points, 18 goals) and C Anze Kopitar (43 points, 12 goals) lead the Kings, while G Jonathan Quick (.913 SVS) is in form.