Detroit — Better health and a better power play could go a long way toward the Red Wings’ goal of making the playoffs, even as they develop their prospective stars and rebuild this season.
Upbeat after their 4-2 win in the home opener in their new arena over a Wild team forecast for success this season, the Red Wings drilled on fundamentals Friday at practice and savored their success on the power play.
But there was a bit of bad news on the injury front.
Defenseman Niklas Kronwall (groin), who did not play in the opener Thursday, skated by himself after the rest of the team left the ice.
A full participant in the morning skate Thursday and at practice Wednesday, Kronwall’s status is day-to-day, Jeff Blashill said.
“He won’t be in tomorrow night,” the coach said.
The Red Wings play the Senators, who may see the return of standout defenseman Erik Karlsson to their lineup.
Karlsson delayed his start to the season recovering from offseason surgery on his foot after playing through part of the stretch drive and playoffs with an injured heel.
The All-Star did not play in the Senators' 5-4 loss to the Capitals on Wednesday and Ottawa's power play suffered.
Ottawa GM Pierre Dorion told reporters Thursday he hoped Karlsson could return Saturday against the Red Wings.
On Friday, the Senators coach Guy Boucher scaled that back to say Karlsson remains day-to-day.
An upbeat mood prevailed, generally, at Red Wings practice.
Not only did Anthony Mantha and Dylan Larkin look strong against the Wild, Jimmy Howard withstood some considerable pressure by the Wild until the Wings started scoring and the team had a staunch response when it lost the lead with two quick, early third-period goals by the Wild.
The Red Wings roared back.
Henrik Zetterberg scored the winner and Martin Frk applied frosting to the cake.
Asked if it signaled a more resilient team than last season.
“I am not sure if I would compare it to last year, or not,” said the veteran defenseman Mike Green, who assisted on all four goals, after scoring a hat trick in the home opener last season.
“I think the team did a really good job of staying composed, even when we went down two, there.”
“We didn’t lose our cool. We just kind of stayed in the same mind frame and we are able to fight our way out of it.
“With ‘Z.’ getting a big goal and ‘Frky’ obviously finishing it off, it was great.”