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Wounded Red Wings Battle Canucks In Western Conference Showdown

The Red Wings are picking the wrong time to deal with injuries.

Leading third place San Jose by a modest three points, Detroit faces off with first-place Vancouver tonight in the second game of a five game homestand.

Detroit will be a little shorthanded however after a recent string of injuries. Forwards Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen and Todd Bertuzzi are all out of the lineup tonight after suffering minor injuries last week. Jiri Hudler may return however, after missing three games with a sore neck/shoulder area, but he'll be a game time decision. If Hudler can go, it will give the Red Wings a full compliment of 12 forwards.

The Red Wings earlier today placed goaltender Chris Osgood on long-term injured reserve after he suffered another setback in his recovery from sports hernia surgery. Osgood was set to back up Jimmy Howard tonight, but Joey MacDonald was recalled from AHL-Grand Rapids just one day after being sent down. By placing Osgood on injured reserve, they avoided having to send Jan Mursak back down because of salary cap issues.

Players to watch

Jimmy Howard, Red Wings: Howard got yanked from the last game after giving up four goals and with so many players out of the lineup they'll need him to play big.

Daniel Sedin, Canucks:  It was thought Sedin might miss tonight's game after the birth of his daughter, but he has flown into Detroit and will play.