Report: Datsyuk (lower-body ache) to be evaluated before Red Wings host Blues

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For a second consecutive game, the Detroit Red Wings, playing the Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday, were without veteran forward Pavel Datsyuk.

He did not make the trip to Florida, as per the Detroit Free Press, with head coach Mike Babcock saying Datsyuk had a lower-body ache.

The Red Wings return back to Detroit, where they will host the St. Louis Blues on Sunday. It remains to be seen if Datsyuk, who has 58 points in 57 games, will be in the lineup for that tilt.

Video: Stars like Crosby, Datsyuk want 3-on-3 overtime

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Bob McKenzie was in the NBCSN studio on Wednesday at an ideal time, as he was able to add some color to the talk of 3-on-3 overtime and other issues from the NHL GM meetings.

McKenzie passes along some interesting tidbits, especially how Sidney Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk and others feel about the idea of having all that extra room in OT.

Related

How close is the NHL to adopting 3-on-3 OT?

Wings send Marchenko to Grand Rapids

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The Detroit Red Wings have assigned d-man Alexey Marchenko to AHL Grand Rapids.

The moves leaves the Wings with seven healthy defenseman as they prepare for games Thursday and Friday in Florida (without Pavel Datsyuk).

Marchenko, a right-shooting blue-liner from Russia, has not played since Feb. 28 due to an oblique strain.

On that note, when the Wings acquired veteran right-shooting d-man Marek Zidlicky at the deadline, coach Mike Babcock made sure to say that they still “really like Marchenko” and that they’re “going to make sure he’s playing.”

The Griffins have games this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Related: Zidlicky drawing rave reviews from Red Wings

Video: Special teams help Bruins over Red Wings

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Daniel Paille scored twice as the Boston Bruins defeated the Detroit Red Wings 5-3 Sunday afternoon at the TD Garden.

The Bruins (33-22-10) scored two shorthanded goals and went 2-for-5 on the power play in the win.

Boston now has points in five straight (4-0-1). The Bruins also have a four-point lead on the Florida Panthers for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Detroit (36-17-11) has lost two straight in regulation for the first time this season.

Brad Marchand, David Pastrnak and Loui Eriksson had the other Boston goals while Niklas Svedberg made 36 saves in the win.

Gustav Nyquist, Luke Glendening and Marek Zidlicky scored for Detroit.

Pavel Datsyuk had two assists in the loss.

Jonas Gustavsson allowed four goals on 23 shots and was replaced by Jimmy Howard to start the third. Howard made six saves in relief.

Sunday was the first time the Red Wings have allowed two shorthanded goals since Jan. 24, 2004.

Boston and Detroit conclude the five-game season series on April 2 in Detroit.

(Video) PHT Extra: Why would Babcock leave the Wings now?

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Mike Babcock recently called the current version of the Red Wings the “best group I’ve had since ’09.”

He also talked positively about the future of the organization, and how it was set up well for the “long-term.”

Translation: This did not sound like a head coach who was dying to leave Detroit as soon as his contract expired at the end of the season.

At the same time, Babcock still hasn’t signed an extension. And until he does, we’re left to wonder:

— Does he worry about a future without Pavel Datsyuk (36 years old), Henrik Zetterberg (34), and Niklas Kronwall (34)?
— If not Detroit, where might he end up?
— It’s a long shot, but could Connor McDavid potentially play a role in all this?

Watch:

Related: Three reasons to wonder if Babcock might pick the Flyers