DETROIT — Defenseman Mike Green will miss Friday’s game against the Red Wings after suffering a contusion in Washington’s 4-3 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Green, 28, was on the ice in full gear for the start of Washington’s morning skate here at Joe Louis Arena but only made a few gingerly laps around the rink before heading back to the visitors’ dressing room when actual drills began. This will be the first game Green’s missed due to injury this season but the 94th in the past 232 regular season contests dating back to the start of the 2010-11 season.
“I think he was stiffer than he anticipated,” Coach Adam Oates said. “He’s got a contusion there, lower body, and just doesn’t feel good enough to go.”
Oates said at this stage, Green hasn’t been ruled out for Sunday’s game at home against the St. Louis Blues.
Without Green in the mix, Tyson Strachan will make his debut with the Capitals after being recalled from the AHL’s Hershey Bears. Strachan will be paired with Nate Schmidt, who the 29-year-old blueliner worked with frequently during training camp and the preseason.
While Strachan will be making his first appearance with the Capitals, his 120 NHL games make him the third most experienced defensemen in the lineup against Detroit behind Karl Alzner (282) and John Carlson (253). In what could be an unexpected benefit to his presence in the lineup, Strachan is familiar with all the quirks at Joe Louis Arena including the lively boards from the three seasons he spent with the Blues. He hopes all those factors allow him to make a smooth transition into Washington’s lineup.
“I obviously wasn’t happy to go down to Hershey but that was the situation; I went down there and battled as hard as I could. It was nice to get the call up and hopefully I’ll be able to stick around as long as I can,” Strachan said. “I’ve been a vocal guy my whole career and Schmidt’s a guy I spent some time with in camp, I spent some time with him down in Hershey. I think we’re pretty familiar with each other.”
>> The Red Wings get top-pairing defenseman Jonathan Ericsson back in the lineup tonight after he missed the past 10 games with a dislocated shoulder. Veteran winger Dan Cleary will also be back in the mix after sitting out Tuesday’s game against Winnipeg as a healthy scratch. Stephen Weiss is out with a groin injury.
>> Detroit has struggled at home so far this season and is 0-1-5 in the last six games at Joe Louis Arena. The last time the Red Wings won here was Oct. 15 against Columbus and Coach Mike Babcock admitted he’s concerned about his team having some fragility at home.
“No question about it but you know confidence is fleeting in the NHL. It’s amazing how guys can score goals all the time and suddenly not score. It’s the same with your team. You’ve got to stay the course,” Babcock said. “I thought we played well enough to win the last game and we didn’t. We can hang our head and feel bad for ourselves or we can do the same thing again and when you do it right all the time, in the end you win most of the time. We’ve got to do it on a more consistent basis, do it right and we’ll be rewarded.”
>> Here are the projected lineups for both teams.
Henrik Zetterberg-Pavel Datsyuk-Todd Bertuzzi
Johan Franzen-Darren Helm-Daniel Alfredsson
Dan Cleary-Joakim Andersson-Mikael Samuelsson
Drew Miller-Tomas Tatar-Justin Abdelkader
Niklas Kronwall-Jonathan Ericsson
Kyle Quincey-Danny DeKyser
Jakub Kindl-Brian Lashoff
Jimmy Howard is expected to start.