Mike Halford

PHILADELPHIA, PA - MARCH 15: Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wells Fargo Center on March 15, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers defeated the Red Wings 4-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Abdelkader out 2-4 weeks as another — yes, another — injury hits Detroit

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Injuries are a part of the game. But in Detroit, they’re becoming a fabric of the team.

On Friday, the Red Wings announced that burly power forward Justin Abdelkader would miss the next 2-4 weeks with a MCL sprain (per the Free Press), suffered in last night’s OT loss to Florida.

Abdelkader — who has four goals and eight points through 22 games this season — was averaging 16:26 TOI per night prior to getting hurt. He’d also been heating up lately after a slow start to the year, with four points in his last six contests.

As mentioned in the headline, this is just the latest in a series of injuries to hit the Wings:

Andreas Athanasiou has been out since Nov. 11 with a knee injury.

Darren Helm has been out since Nov. 17 with a shoulder issue.

Jimmy Howard hasn’t played since Nov. 25 due to a groin strain.

Alexey Marchenko was placed on IR last week with a shoulder problem of his own.

Brendan Smith is out four weeks with a knee injury.

Tyler Bertuzzi is out 3-5 weeks with a high ankle sprain.

The club is expected to make another recall from AHL Grand Rapids to fill the Abdelkader void. Leaning on the Griffins has been a common trend this year — in last night’s game against the Panthers, both Anthony Mantha and Ryan Sproul saw significant playing time.

Smith, Coyotes ‘very frustrated’ after blowing late lead versus L.A.

GLENDALE, AZ - OCTOBER 07:  Goaltender Mike Smith #41 of the Arizona Coyotes during the preseason NHL game against San Jose Sharks at Gila River Arena on October 7, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Sharks 3-1  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) Asked if he knew when he scored his last goal, Jordan Nolan put his head down in the locker room. He laughed a little.

“I couldn’t tell you,” Nolan said. “I don’t even want to look back on it. Just kind of forget about it and just move on.”

Nolan scored his first two goals of the season – and his first since April 2015 – to help the Los Angeles Kings edge the Arizona Coyotes 4-3 on Wednesday night.

“Just some puck luck, I guess,” Nolan said. “I feel like I got some good chances here and just fortunate to go in.”

Trevor Lewis scored the winner off a turnover with 4:05 left. The Kings withstood a late power play and an extra attacker to hold on for their sixth win in seven games.

Anze Kopitar had two assists and backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff, pressed into action to start the second period, faced 26 shots and made 25 saves.

Martin Hanzal scored twice for the Coyotes in the first period, with Michael Stone assisting on both. Mike Smith stopped 29 shots, but gave up two goals in the final 7 minutes.

“I thought he was unlucky,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said of Smith. “Made some great saves but was unlucky. I’m sure he’s very frustrated, just like the rest of us.”

The Coyotes pulled Smith for an extra attacker for the last 1:34, but couldn’t draw even.

The teams scored 9 seconds apart in the third period. Nolan’s second goal of the night came from a shot from behind the net that bounced off the back of Smith’s legs to give the Kings a 3-2 lead at 13:41 of the period.

“I see some of the top players kind of throw it at the net when they’re in the corner there,” Nolan said. “It goes in for them, so I thought why not give it a try?”

Arizona’s Tobias Rieder, who’d been a hard mark for Kings defenseman Drew Doughty for much of the game, took in a long pass from Alex Goligoski and got off a shot ahead of Doughty that beat Zatkoff at 13:50.

That set the stage for Lewis’ winner.

“We did a good job kind of weathering their push in the second and tied it,” Zatkoff said. “It was a gritty win. We probably didn’t play our best but it’s two points. Got contributions up and down the lineup.”

The Coyotes converted 2 of 6 power plays, the first successful power plays in the past five games. Nine of their last 10 games have been decided by one goal.

The Kings went 0 for 6 on power plays.

Forward Tyler Toffoli picked up two tripping penalties in the first 39 seconds of the game, the first which led to the Coyotes scoring their opening goal.

Toffoli was sent to the penalty box nine seconds into the game, and six seconds later, Hanzal deflected Radim Vrbata‘s shot into the net for a 1-0 Arizona lead.

Toffoli was whistled for tripping again at 39 seconds, but the Kings’ penalty kill unit prevented a second goal for those two minutes.

Los Angeles tied it at 12:25 of the first when Dustin Brown skated up ice, flipped a centering pass to Kopitar and got the puck back from Kopitar. Brown’s shot attempt was wide but it went to teammate Dwight King, who put the puck past Smith.

It was King’s fifth goal of the season.

The Coyotes went ahead 2-1 on Hanzal’s wrist shot that went off starting goalie Peter Budaj‘s stick and into the net at 18:32 of the period, again on the power play. Hanzal, with five goals, also has three two-point games this season.

Before that goal, the Coyotes, with Smith making several stops, thwarted a 5-on-3 opportunity the Kings had for 53 seconds in the first period.

Zatkoff got his first win as a King. He took over for Peter Budaj, who had four saves on six shots faced.

“Trying to win a game, right?” Kings coach Darryl Sutter said of his move to go with Zatkoff.

The Kings drew even again with Nolan’s goal at 10:14 of the second. Nolan’s backhand shot eluded Smith for his first goal of the season and first since April of 2015.

NOTES: Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson played after leaving Tuesday’s game at San Jose with an upper body injury, and logged an assist. … Arizona’s Shane Doan passed Wayne Gretzky for 19th place on the NHL’s career list.

Sergachev highlights Russia’s World Junior camp invitee list

BUFFALO, NY - JUNE 24:  Mikhail Sergachev celebrates with the Montreal Canadiens after being selected ninth overall during round one of the 2016 NHL Draft on June 24, 2016 in Buffalo, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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Mikhail Sergachev, the talented blueliner taken ninth overall by Montreal at this year’s draft, headlines a list of 28 players chosen to participate in Russia’s World Junior training camp, per NHL.com.

Sergachev, 18, thoroughly impressed Habs brass during the exhibition campaign, and make the club out of training camp. He then proceeded to appear in three games for the Canadiens before GM Marc Bergevin sent him back to OHL Windsor.

With the Spits, Sergachev has seven points in his first 11 games.

He isn’t the only intriguing prospect named to Russia’s camp. Goalie Ilya Samsonov — taken 22nd overall by Washington in 2015 — is also there, and in the midst of a terrific KHL campaign. With Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Samosonov has 11 wins this year, with a 2.14 GAA and .934 save percentage.

Denis Gurianov, the forward taken by Dallas with the 12th overall pick in ’15, will also be at camp. Gurianov is currently plying his trade with Dallas’ AHL affiliate in Texas, where he has nine points in 19 games.

There is a fourth first-round pick in the mix as well. That’s German Rubstov, who Philly took at No. 22 this past June. Rubstov has split the year between the KHL and Russia’s junior league, and has emerged as a point-per-game player in the latter.

Goalie nods: Lehner hurt, so Sabres turn to Nilsson

PHILADELPHIA, PA - OCTOBER 25:  Anders Nilsson #31 of the Buffalo Sabres looks on against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period at Wells Fargo Center on October 25, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
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After injuring his hip during Tuesday’s win over Ottawa, Buffalo starter Robin Lehner won’t play against the Rangers tonight — but, he might be well enough to serve as Anders Nilsson‘s backup.

“It feels 90 percent,” Nilsson said of his hip, per the Buffalo News. “It’s a little stiff still, but it feels good.”

Lehner has been a workhorse lately, but the Sabres should have little concern going to Nilsson. He was solid against the Sens — stopping 26 shots en route to the win — and has posted great numbers this year (.939 save percentage, and 2.20 GAA).

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma has yet to decide if Lehner will dress, or if the club will recall a goalie for AHL Rochester. Whatever the case, Lehner isn’t expected to be out long, and has already hinted he’ll be back in goal on Saturday, when Buffalo hosts Boston.

For New York, Henrik Lundqvist is in goal.

Elsewhere…

Cam Ward has been a busy man with Eddie Lack (concussion) on the shelf, and that’ll continue as he starts for the ‘Canes in Boston. Tuukka Rask appears likely for the B’s.

— The flip-flip continues for Dallas, as Antti Niemi gets the start after Kari Lehtonen played on Tuesday (a 3-1 loss to Detroit). Pittsburgh hasn’t announced a starter yet, but Matt Murray played (and lost) to the Isles last night.

Braden Holtby goes for the Caps, who are hosting the Islanders. Like the Pens, no word on an Isles starter — Thomas Greiss played last night, so Jaroslav Halak seems likely.

Steve Mason, who made 45 saves in a win over the Bruins on Tuesday, is back in goal for the Flyers. Ottawa will go with Mike Condon, and Andrew Hammond will back up while Craig Anderson is on a leave of absence to be with his wife.

— The in-form Roberto Luongo (has stopped 68 of his last 70 shots faced) gets the call tonight in Detroit. He’ll be up against Petr Mrazek, who lost both his previous two meetings against the Panthers this year.

— It’s Cam Talbot versus Connor Hellebuyck as the Oilers take on the Jets in Winnipeg. Talbot was hooked last game, a loss to the Leafs.

— Tampa Bay will continue to ride Andrei Vasilevskiy, who has outplayed Ben Bishop this year (though Vasilevskiy had a rough game on Tuesday, allowing five goals in a blowout loss in Columbus). He’ll be up against Jake Allen, who’s riding a six-game winning streak for the Blues.

— Good matchup in Chicago, as Cory Schneider and the Devils take on Corey Crawford and the ‘Hawks.

— An all-Russian matchup in Colorado, where Semyon Varlamov goes back in goal after Calvin Pickard started the last two. Sergei Bobrovsky counters for the Blue Jackets.

Mike Smith is in goal as the Coyotes host the Kings. No word on a Los Angeles starter yet, but Peter Budaj played in last night’s 4-1 loss to San Jose.

— The Canucks will go back to Ryan Miller, after he beat the Wild on Tuesday. Anaheim hasn’t unveiled its starter yet.

Chara ‘out there skating, but he won’t be playing tonight’

SUNRISE, FL - MARCH 7: Zdeno Chara #33 of the Boston Bruins skates towards the face-off circle during first period action against the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on March 7, 2016 in Sunrise, Florida. The Bruins defeated the Panthers 5-4 in overtime. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
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Boston will be without its captain for a fifth straight game when it hosts the ‘Canes on Thursday.

Zdeno Chara is still nursing a lower-body injury, but there was a positive development this morning as he returned to practice with his teammates.

“He’s out there skating, but he won’t be playing tonight,” B’s head coach Claude Julien said today, per CSNNE. “We’ve hung in there.”

The Bruins are just 1-2-1 without Chara’s services but, defensively, the club has fared reasonably well. Boston has allowed just eight goals over that stretch, which also saw the club lose the services of another veteran blueliner in John-Michael Liles, who is out with a concussion.

As a result, Julien has been rolling with a six-man defensive unit comprised of Torey Krug, Adam McQuaid, Kevan Miller, Brandon Carlo, Joe Morrow and Colin Miller. Krug and Carlo were the big-minute men in Tuesday’s shootout loss to Philly, getting 25:53 and 24:07 of ice time, respectively.

Julien praised his makeshift group for shutting down the Flyers after allowing two first-period markers. Philly had just 11 shots on goal over the second and third periods, and just one in the overtime session.