Detroit Red Wings captain and leading scorer Dylan Larkin is out 2 weeks with injury

Updated Mar. 4, 2024 3:24 p.m. ET

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Red Wings captain Dylan Larkin will miss roughly the next two weeks because of injury, an absence that will test the team over its upcoming road trip and beyond.

Coach Derek Lalonde said Monday that Larkin would be out with a lower-body injury, which occurred in the team’s loss to Florida over the weekend. Joe Veleno moves into the top-line center spot between Alex DeBrincat and Patrick Kane to temporarily fill in for Detroit’s leading scorer.

“It’s going to be probably more minutes for Joe,” Lalonde said after practice. “A good challenge for us. Everyone goes through injuries. We didn’t handle it very well the last time Dylan was out. I think we’ll respond a little better this time around.”

The Red Wings lost three of the four games Larkin missed in December, though as Lalonde pointed out that was also when they were dealing with injuries to several other players at the same time.


“We’ve been fortunate with our depth all year long, and this will be tested again and I’m confident in the group,” Lalonde said. “These are the bumps. You want to stay in that battle, you want to get over that line, you’ve got to fight through some of these things and this is our opportunity."

Larkin, 27, has 26 goals and 28 assists for 54 points in 55 games this season. The Red Wings hold the first of two Eastern Conference wild-card spots and are on track to return to the playoffs and end a seven-year drought going back to their most recent appearance in 2016.

Lalonde called Larkin a driver for Detroit because of the stability he provides playing big minutes at even strength, on the power play and the penalty kill. It won't just be on Veleno to fill the void.

“Everyone’s got to do a little bit more," Lalonde said. "I think they understand the task.”

The Red Wings head out to visit Colorado on Wednesday, Arizona on Friday and Vegas on Saturday before wrapping up their stretch of road games next Tuesday, March 12, at Buffalo. Larkin could also miss additional home games against the Coyotes and Sabres and at Pittsburgh that are within this two-week span.

Tied with Tampa Bay in the standings but having played two fewer games, Detroit leads the New York Islanders by six points, Washington by seven and New Jersey by eight in the playoff race.