Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk will not be part of the lineup in Florida due to a lower body injury, according to the team.
Datsyuk is expected to miss the Wings’ upcoming back-to-back games against the Panthers and the Tampa Bay Lighting. Coach Mike Babcock called it a “lower body ache,” but it’s unclear if Datsyuk will return after those two games, according to MLive reporter Ansar Khan.
The Red Wings are no strangers to being short their second leading scorer. Datsyuk missed 11 games earlier in the season due to a shoulder and hip injury. But this absence comes as Detroit hangs on to its playoff spot. The team is third in the Atlantic division with 87 points with two games in hand on Boston (83 points), currently second in the second wild card spot.
With 23 goals and 35 assists in 57 games, the veteran center is doing more than just keeping the Red Wings primed for the postseason. It’s not all bad news for Detroit since Datsyuk’s linemate Darren Helm will be back on the ice. Helm was out since Feb. 28 with an upper body injury.