Tough break for Dan Cleary in a 4-2 win over Edmonton Wednesday night. The Red Wings forward was knocked into the Detroit bench door by Edmonton’s Ben Eager midway through the second period, forcing him from the contest. (FF to :40)
The Wings didn’t reveal what injury Cleary suffered on the play, or its significance — head coach Mike Babcock only confirmed the 33-year-old was questionable for Friday’s game at Joe Louis against the Anaheim Ducks.
Of course, Cleary’s status could be partly due to another injury, as he was dealing with pre-existing knee pain from a baker’s cyst.
“Cleary’s gonna get an injection [on Thursday] or whatever and will be out a few days anyway,” Babcock told NHL.com following the game. “He’s in pain. He doesn’t seem to be able to play with it. I don’t think it’s anything serious, but it gives [rookie Jan Mursak] a chance to get in the lineup.”
The loss could be big for a Detroit team on the verge of history. The win over Edmonton was the Wings’ 18th straight at the Joe, just two back of the NHL record (2o games) set by the Boston Bruins during the 1929-30 season and matched by Philadelphia in 1975-76.
Cleary had been playing well lately after a slow start to the year, scoring five points in his last five games.