Originally written March 14, 2012 on Fox Sports Detroit:
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ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Nicklas Lidstrom and the Red Wings are in uncharted territory. When Lidstrom missed his seventh consecutive game Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Kings because of a deep bone bruise in his right ankle, it set an unfortunate new career high for most consecutive games missed. The worst part of it is, Lidstrom doesn't seem to be improving. Once the swelling went down and he was able to get a skate on his foot, he thought he would be back playing in no time. But, as Lidstrom told reporters after Wednesday's morning skate at the Honda Center in Anaheim, that's not happening. "It was more sore today when I skated, I was out there for just a few minutes and it was more sore," Lidstrom said. "I don't think it's good when you're more sore, so they want me to be more cautious about it." Lidstrom has had the ankle X-rayed more than once and doctors have said it is not broken, merely a really bad bone bruise. "It is discouraging, disappointing that I haven't started feeling better," Lidstrom said. "It's going up on two weeks now. It's frustrating, too, when you want to be out there playing and you can't. Although the injury is still considered day-to-day, there is some discussion about taking a whole week off without skating to allow the ankle to heal. For now, Lidstrom won't skate Thursday and will take it day by day before deciding whether to skate. Anaheim Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau was surprised that Lidstrom had not had an extended injury like this before in his 20-year NHL career. "I'm reading today that it's the most he's missed in his career," Boudreau said. "That's quite an amazing accomplishment. I worry more about the fact they lost last night and good teams very rarely put two bad games together in a row. So I expect them to do a lot better, with or without him." The Wings face the Ducks for the fourth and final time this season Wednesday night. They have won all three meetings between the two teams, one by shootout. Bertuzzi back in, Datsyuk still on hold After getting goaltender Jimmy Howard back from a groin strain Tuesday, the Wings will gain a skater back. Todd Bertuzzi, recovering from his own groin strain, is supposed to be in the lineup against the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday. "I feel like it's pretty strong right now," Bertuzzi told reporters in Anaheim Wednesday morning. "Obviously it'll take some time to get my timing back but as far as the groin, it feels a lot better than it was." Bertuzzi said he hopes to keep things simple as he and the Wings try to get back on the winning track. "Guys are working hard. We haven't put the puck in enough," Bertuzzi said. "I think we've made some uncharacteristic mistakes, it's cost us goals. Back to basics, taking care of our zone first and when we get our chances, bury them." Howard is not playing Wednesday because of the back-to-back games, so Joey MacDonald will be back in. Howard will play Saturday in San Jose. "I felt good out there," Howard said. "Games are a lot different than practice. Once you get everyone out there and criss-crossing and everything, it takes your eyes a game or two to get back to finding the puck. That's the biggest thing, once you get 10 guys moving in front of you, keeping track of the puck." As for Pavel Datsyuk, he said his knee was not sore after skating this morning. But he's not sure if he'll be able to play Saturday against the Sharks. "Two more days, we'll see," Datsyuk said. "I'm skating, every day better and better but it's hard to say." The Wings are 3-6-1 in Datsyuk's absence.
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