Tomas Kopecky is out for four-to-six months, having suffered a torn ACL and a sprained MCL in a collision with Manny Malhotra of Columbus Thursday night.
“It’s disappointing for us, but it’s really disappointing for him after missing most of the playoffs last year,” Detroit general manager Ken Holland said. “He was starting to get more ice time and you could see his confidence growing.”
With Kopecky out, Holland will sign Justin Abdelkader to an entry-level deal on Friday and the former Michigan State star will remain with the team throughout the playoffs. Abdelkader made his Red Wings debut against the Blue Jackets and took on many of Kopecky’s minutes after the third-period injury.
The Detroit Red Wings scored twice in the final 3:27 Thursday night, rebounding from down 2-1 to earn a 3-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The win clinched their fourth Presidents’ Trophy in the past six seasons and sixth overall. No other team has won the award more than twice.
Johan Franzen tied the game on a Red Wings’ power play with 3:27 left in the third, putting home the rebound of a Nicklas Lidstrom shot from the blue line.
With 12 seconds left, Henrik Zetterberg gave the Red Wings their lone lead. Columbus netmnder Pascal Leclaire tried to play the puck on a dump in but it slipped past him as Zetterberg raced in. Zetterberg got to the puck behind the net before Leclaire could get back between the pipes, and the Swede’s backhand shot banked off of the goalie and into the net.
The Blue Jackets had scored first when Ron Hainsey scored on the power play at 7:13 of the second. After a fight for the puck on the right wing, Hainsey was left wide open acorss the ice for a blast past Dominik Hasek‘s glove.
Mark Hartigan evened things up 2:30 later, banging the rebound of a Niklas Kronwall shot past Leclaire.
Aaron Rome put Columbus back out in front before the Detroit comeback, scoring at 4:05 of the third on a blast from the blue line that slipped through Hasek.
Hasek made 20 saves on 22 shots on the night, with Leclaire stopping 36 of 39 attempts.
made his Red Wings debut, in for the injured Kirk Maltby
… Tomas Kopecky
left the game early in the third period with a knee injury.
The Detroit Red Wings have signed forward Justin Abdelkader to an amateur tryout contract, making him available to play tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Muskegon native was Detroit’s 2005 second-round draft pick. He has played three seasons for the Michigan State Spartans, scoring the game-winning goal late in the third period of the 2007 NCAA Championship game.
By signing with the Red Wings, Abdelkader will forego his remaining season of eligiblity with the Spartans.
Abdelkader’s signing comes with Kirk Maltby unable to play due to an unspecified injury.
Red Wings’ assistant general manager Jim Nill said that the team is attempting to sign Abdelkader to a three-year entry-level deal. He must be signed by Saturday to be eligible for the playoffs.