Howard, Kindl latest victims of injury bug

DETROIT – Add Jimmy Howard and Jakub Kindl to the growing list of Detroit Red Wings who are on the shelf with injuries.

Kindl left Sunday’s 2-1 loss against Central Division rival Chicago in the first period with what is being called an upper body injury. The length of time he’ll miss is unknown, but Wings coach Mike Babcock thought that perhaps the defenseman shouldn’t have dressed at all.

“With (Kindl), obviously we didn’t make a very good decision between us,” Babcock explained. “I don’t know if we pressured him or what it was, but he was a bit sore. We should have called someone up, I guess, in hindsight.”

Howard started the game, but went out with a lower body injury and was replaced between the pipes by Joey MacDonald near the beginning of the second. Howard characterized his injury as “nothing serious.”

“All I can tell you is that it’s a lower body injury, and it’s day-to-day,” Howard said. “I’m going to get re-evaluated tomorrow.”

Kindl’s loss is just the latest blow for the team’s defensive corps.

Captain Nick Lidstrom has missed three games with a swollen ankle, while Jonathan Ericsson has missed a similar amount of time because of a fractured wrist.

With Kindl out, there was added pressure put on the Detroit defense. The coaches were forced to mix-and-match between its remaining blueliners.

Rookie Brendan Smith and Ian White both were paired with Kyle Quincey at various points in the game. Brad Stuart and Quincey also were partnered up during the first period.

When Smith got into a fight in the second period, Detroit temporarily had four healthy defensemen available. Quincey credited the Blackhawks with employing a tiring forecheck.

“They did a good job of putting pucks behind us and wearing us down,” Quincey said. “Once a guy goes down, you go into survival mode. But, we’re all comfortable playing with each other, so it’s not that big of a deal.”

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