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Los Angeles — Kyle Quincey has bone chips in his ankle.

Quincey knows he'll need surgery. He's just trying to put it off as long as possible.

Whether he needs the procedure or not will likely put more emphasis on Monday's trade deadline and how aggressively general manager Ken Holland pursues another defenseman.

"Get the surgery after we win the Stanley Cup in June, that's the plan," said Quincey Tuesday as the Red Wings were working off ice. "I need surgery. But it's when. We knew we'd need surgery from back in October, but we were hopeful we could get through the rest of the year.

"That's still the plan."

If Quincey does need surgery, it would likely knock him out for effectively the remainder of the regular season.

"Don't quote me, but it's about six weeks," said Quincey of when he'd likely be able to return to the lineup.

Whether Quincey will be able to delay any operation could be known a little more later this afternoon when Quincey sees a specialist in Los Angeles.

"I can't really answer anything until I have that guy's opinion," Quincey said. "Once I see him, a lot of answers to questions will be answered."

Quincey said the pain began in August and he's been playing through the pain since.

"It acted up a few times in the preseason but it's just kind of an on-going thing, good days and bad days," Quincey said. "Three or four days ago, there were really bad days, the worse yet."

The Red Wings have inserted Jakub Kindl into the lineup in Quincey's place but there would be a glaring need to acquire a veteran defenseman if Quincey were to miss substantial playing time.

A prototypical defensive defenseman, Quincey was having one of his best seasons, with 13 points (three goals, 10 assists) in 52 games with a plus-5 rating.

Need for swagger

After a superb effort in Chicago to open this six-game road trip, goalie Jimmy Howard allowed nine goals on 57 shots the last two games.

Coach Mike Babcock isn't concerned, but added it's important for the team to have a confident Howard.

"What Howie does is give us a swagger," Babcock said. "When he's on top of his game ... it resonates, it's contagious, and goes through the whole team, and it helps us feel good about who we are.

"We need him to find his consistent form. I have no doubt he will. We have to play better in front of him and he has to do his part, as well."

Jonas Gustavsson got the start in net instead of Howard against Los Angeles on Tuesday night; that was originally planned. It was Gustavsson's first start since he separated his shoulder Nov. 5 against the Rangers.

Gustavsson relieved Howard Saturday in Dallas in the final 10 minutes of regulation, and earned the victory as the Red Wings rallied to win 7-6 in overtime.

Ice chips

Joakim Andersson was expected to replace Daniel Cleary in the Red Wings lineup Tuesday.

… The Kings organization recognized Red Wings assistant coach Tony Granato, who played on the Kings' 1992-93 team that lost to Montreal in the Stanley Cup Finals.

"That's special for the Red Wings, as well," Babcock said. "You love to have great people in your organization that make your organization better."

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