DETROIT – Jonathan Ericsson might be joining a long list of sidelined Red Wings.
The Detroit defenceman injured his left knee late in the first period of the Red Wings’ 3-2 win over the Phoenix Coyotes on Monday night. Ericsson was hurt on a hit by Phoenix captain Shane Doan, which set up the Coyotes’ first goal.
“He’ll have it checked out in the morning,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ll see what happens. But it didn’t look good on TV.”
The Red Wings were already without forwards Johan Franzen, Valtteri Filppula, Jason Williams, Dan Cleary and Darren Helm and defenceman Niklas Kronwall because of injuries.
Jimmy Howard made 30 saves and Kris Newbury, Patrick Eaves and Derek Meech scored for Detroit.
Taylor Pyatt and Radim Vrbata scored for Phoenix, which has won six of its last eight, and Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 29 shots.
“For whatever reason, you have those games where you don’t play your best,” Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. “You’re just not sharp and this was one of those.”
Vrbata’s goal with 36 seconds left in the second period pulled the Coyotes to within a goal. His shot from along the right wing boards deflected off the stick of Detroit’s Todd Bertuzzi for Vrbata’s 10th goal.
Meech gave the Red Wings a 3-1 lead 2:05 into the second period when his harmless-looking slap shot from just inside the blue line eluded Bryzgalov. It was Meech’s first goal and point of the season.
Meech fired another shot from just inside the blue line over a minute later and it tricked through Bryzgalov’s pads and lay in the crease. But no Red Wing could get to it to tap it in.
Detroit led 2-1 after the first period.
Newbury, called up from Grand Rapids of the AHL earlier in the day because of Helm’s injury, opened the scoring 5:25 into the game when he tipped in Kris Draper’s pass.
“Just trying to get my feet moving and drove the middle,” said Newbury who played his fifth game in six nights. “And the puck was right there.”
He talked about Detroit’s injuries.
“It seems like it never stops around here, that’s unfortunate” Newbury said. “But everyone steps up and that’s good to see.”
Eaves’ short-handed goal, with 9:23 left in the opening period, made it 2-0. He beat Bryzgalov from the left circle for Eaves’ third goal.
“I was going down the side and I like that shot, and I was able to use their d-man’s stick as kind of a screen and pull it by it,” he said.
Babcock talked about the unlikely sources of his team’s goals.
“If we don’t have secondary scoring, we’re not going to win,” he said. “Most of our primary scoring is out.”
Pyatt put Phoenix on the scoreboard with 4:52 as Ericsson lay in the left corner of the Detroit zone clutching his knee after the hit by Doan, which caused a turnover. Pyatt put in a rebound for his fifth goal.
“He came around the net and I just tried to finish my check,” Doan said. “It’s happened to us. I don’t really like it but when somebody gets hurt, they don’t blow the whistle until a change of possession.”
NOTE: Bryzgalov was named the NHL’s third star for last week as he was 2-0-1 with a 0.97 goals-against average, .968 save percentage and a shutout. … Helm injured his wrist in Saturday night’s 3-2 overtime win in Nashville and is day to day. Newbury was recalled to take his place. … Phoenix D Ed Jovanovski returned from a two-game suspension. Jovanovski is a native of Windsor, Ontario, which is across the Detroit River from Detroit, and played junior hockey with the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires. … Coyotes’ C Robert Lang is a former Red Wing.