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Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Nielsen, Athanasiou out with injuries

After a strong win against a hopeful playoff team in the Dallas Stars, the Red Wings have lost a couple of their top-6 forwards heading into tomorrow’s game against the Blue Jackets.

Per Ansar Khan of MLive, the neither Neilsen or Athanasiou skated with the team at practice today. Nielsen will be out tomorrow against the Blue Jackets, but Athanasiou is still questionable with an undisclosed injury.

Not sure of the extent of either injury, but after tomorrow’s game in Columbus, they have a four-game homestand where the situation will become much clearer.

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Frans Nielsen has been an important piece as the second-line center so far for the Wings this year. He is second among forwards in ice-time and has six assists in eleven games so far this year, half of those coming on the powerplay.

Athanasiou has been a resurgence for the Wings this season. Going from just a throw-in young player in many trade rumors to being a must-have top-6 forward for the Wings this year. He is tied with Larkin as the team leader in goals this season.

Andreas Athanasiou finally realizing potential, establishing himself as more than a trade chip

This will have a massive effect on the Wings lineup – for at least one game against the Blue Jackets tomorrow. As Ansar Khan later puts out his practice lineup, Jacob De La Rose is now the Wings’ second-line center. So that’s a thing.

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He also has Joe Hicketts filling in for practice as the team’s fourth-line center, so expect a forward call-up if Athanasiou is ruled out against the Blue Jackets.