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Brad Stuart Gets Stitched Up, Will Play Against Edmonton

Red Wings defenseman Brad Stuart survived a scary moment in the Red Wings' 3-2 loss to Philadelphia on Sunday and will be available for Tuesday's game in Edmonton.

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Stuart caught a puck in the back of the head from a Jeff Carter shot during the third period of the Wings' loss to the Flyers and needed stitches and staples to close the wound. Stuart actually turned his body so he wouldn't get hit in the face with the shot, which would have been much more severe.

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"I knew it was coming, and I didn’t want to get a puck in the face," Stuart said. "I didn’t know where it was going to go. Just turned my back and tried to get in the way of it."

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"I'd rather take it in the back of my head than in my face," Stuart said. "That was kind of what I had to do."

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Stuart had to cut a piece of his helmet out so it would fit comfortably in practice, but otherwise felt no ill effects from the shot.

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"I think the first thing I thought was, 'This is probably going to give me a concussion,'" Stuart said. "It just hurts locally. I’ve had concussions. I know what it feels like. It’s not that. I think I got kind of lucky."’

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Patrick Eaves is also expected to return to the lineup in Edmonton after missing the last two games with an elbow infection. With Pavel Datsyuk and Dan Cleary already going down to injury the past month, there was some concern when Eaves went down as well, but the injury appears minor. Eaves has been one of the Red Wings' hottest players as well, recording his first career hat trick last Wednesday in Dallas.

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With Eaves back in the lineup either Jan Mursak or Tomas Tatar is likely to be left out of the lineup. Tatar recorded a goal in his first NHL game on New Years Eve, so he's a good candidate to stick around. Jimmy Howard will also get the start in net in Edmonton after getting yanked in favor of Chris Osgood on Sunday.