Hot Wings edge Canucks, but lose Abdelkader

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The Detroit Red Wings and Vancouver Canucks are two of the hottest teams in the league right now, but of course only one of them could emerge victorious when they played this afternoon. Detroit got off to a better start and while Vancouver fought back, the Red Wings still secured a 5-3 victory.

Niklas Kronwall put Detroit ahead just 3:15 minutes into the game. Gustav Nyquist scored his 11th goal of the season roughly eight minutes later to put the Red Wings up by two.

“They had a better 1st period than us, from there we chipped and clawed back, but it clearly wasn’t enough,” Canucks goaltender Ryan Miller said, per the team’s Twitter feed.

Linden Vey was the Canucks’ best player this afternoon with two goals and an assist, although his second goal was on the controversial side as it bounced off his skate before going into the net with 3:50 minutes left in regulation. After the play was reviewed, the league ruled that he didn’t kick it in.

That put Vancouver within one, but in the final minute of play and with Miller pulled, Pavel Datsyuk gave the Red Wings some breathing room with an empty-netter.

Detroit has now won six of its last seven games to improve to 14-5-5, but the news wasn’t all good. The Red Wings also lost forward Justin Abdelkader to a shoulder injury, per MLive’s Ansar Khan. The silver lining is that head coach Mike Babcock doesn’t think Abdelkader’s injury is significant, but any amount of time he’s absent for will be felt by the team. While he might not be one of Detroit’s biggest names, he certainly has become an important contributor.

He likely sustained the injury due to this big hit from Luca Sbisa:

Detroit will play against Florida on Tuesday. The Canucks are in the early stages of a seven-game road trip that will take them to Washington next.