The already short-handed Detroit Red Wings lost two more top players Friday night.
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After a 3-2 shootout loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, coach Mike Babcock disclosed that forward Tomas Holmstrom broke his hand and will be out for a month.
”That’s just the way it goes sometimes,” Babcock said. ”You get injuries and you just have to fight through them. He’ll see the hand specialist tomorrow. It’s at least four weeks for sure.”
In addition, goalie Jimmy Howard bruised his right knee in the first period and was helped off the ice. X-rays came back negative, a team spokesman said.
The Wings came into the game without standouts Pavel Datsyuk, Mike Modano, Dan Cleary, Brad Stuart and Chris Osgood.
Babcock said he doubted if Howard would be able to play when the teams meet again Saturday night in Detroit.
”He’s not available, so he won’t be able to go tomorrow,” Babcock said.
He indicated the team might need to call up a goalie from the minors as an emergency backup.
Holmstrom, who has 11 goals and 11 assists in 44 games, broke his hand in the third period and didn’t return. It was unknown how he sustained the injury.
Howard was untouched by another player as he blocked a shot by the Blue Jackets’ Derick Brassard with 7:17 left in the opening period. The goalie leaned down with his blocker, his legs tucked under him, and fell to the ice. He lay there for several minutes before he was gingerly helped to the dressing room.
The 26-year-old Howard came into the game with a 22-7-3 record, two shutouts, a 2.78 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage.
He was replaced by third-stringer Joey MacDonald. Osgood, the regular backup, is sidelined by a hernia.