Wings’ winded Glendening doesn’t miss a beat in return

Ted Kulfan

Detroit — Luke Glendening looked a little worn, and it probably isn’t shocking he was.

Glendening returned to the Red Wings’ lineup from a wrist injury Tuesday and did so in grand fashion, with two assists in the 3-2 overtime loss to Philadelphia.

He also was credited with a team-high three hits, was plus-2, and won 5-of-8 faceoffs, while playing 13 minutes 25 seconds.

“I was pretty tired,” said Glendening, who saw his workload increase in the third period with the Red Wings trailing. “It’s just (about) getting back into game shape. I’ve only had one practice with the team in the weeks I was out.

“So, it’s just about getting back into it.”

Before Tuesday’s game coach Jeff Blashill talked about managing Glendening’s minutes because of the fact Glendening hadn’t played since Dec. 21.

But the way Glendening looked over two periods was reason enough for Blashill to extend Glendening’s responsibilities.

“Awesome, outstanding,” Blashill said of Glendening’s game. “I limited his minutes the first two periods and let him go more in the third. He was a big reason our third period was way better.

“You have to have forecheck pressure in this league, and he provides that. He had a couple of assists. He was excellent.”

More: Confidence keys Mrazek’s resurgence in net for Wings

Captain Henrik Zetterberg was impressed with the way Glendening jumped into action with so little practice.

“If you think about it he really didn’t have any practice here lately,” Zetterberg said. “It’s tough for injured players to get into game shape and get back. They threw him right into a game and he played well. He skated well.

“It’s good to have him back.”


Witkowski watched

Referees continue to watch extra carefully whatever forward Luke Witkowski is doing.

Witkowski, the Red Wings’ most physical player, was called for charging Philadelphia’s Jakub Voracek in what looked to many observers like simply a clean, open-ice hit.

This came after last week against Dallas when he was given two borderline penalties. The Stars scored power-play goals on both.

Blashill admitted after Tuesday’s game the Red Wings might have to monitor Witkowski’s playing time if the trend continues.

“Yes, we have to watch it,” Blashill said. “If it continues to be the case, whether we think they’re good calls or not, we have to watch it 100 percent.”

Witkowski was signed in the off-season to be a physical presence for the Red Wings, and he’s done the job well.

But since being suspended for 10 games earlier this season for returning to the ice after being told to leave, during a mini-brawl against Calgary, Witkowski seems to be an extra focus for referees.

“Yes, (it’s a) concern for me,” Blashill said. “It seems to be guys who have (refereed) him in the minors. He (the referee who made the call) is a really good ref. He saw it a certain way and that’s life.

“But I know Luke has to play the way he plays in order to be successful.”

Ice chips

The Red Wings on Wednesday recalled forward Dominic Turgeon and sent forward David Booth (Washington Township/Michigan State) to Grand Rapids.

Turgeon, 21, played in four games with the Red Wings beginning Jan. 14 in Chicago, averaging just under 10 minutes of ice time per game. Turgeon had nine goals and 14 assists (23 points) in 40 games in Grand Rapids.

Booth, 33, made the Red Wings while on a professional tryout in training camp. Booth had four goals and one assist (five points) in 19 games with the Red Wings.

... Justin Abdelkader (lower body) is a possibility to return to the lineup Thursday against Chicago. Abdelkader and Darren Helm (lower body) were both injured the first game back from the bye week Jan. 13 in Pittsburgh.

Helm isn’t expected back until next week — as is Trevor Daley (lower body), who is likely to miss his third consecutive game Thursday.


Blackhawks at Red Wings

Faceoff: 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Little Caesars Arena, Detroit

TV/radio: NBCSN/97.1 FM

Outlook: The Blackhawks (22-19-6, 50 points), last in the Central Division, are in danger of missing the playoffs…The loss of G Corey Crawford (upper body) hasn’t helped…RW Patrick Kane (20 goals, 48 points) has been the lone consistent offensive threat.