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Red Wings notes: Mantha is back, Fabbri day-to-day, Ericsson on waivers

Givani Smith, Taro Hirose sent back to Grand Rapids

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 23: Anthony Mantha #39 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on November 23, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Red Wings 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - NOVEMBER 23: Anthony Mantha #39 of the Detroit Red Wings skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on November 23, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Red Wings 5-1. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) (2019 Getty Images)

DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings forward Anthony Mantha is expected to be back in the lineup Tuesday night when his team takes on the Buffalo Sabres.

Mantha has been out of action since Dec. 21 when he was taken down during a scrum with Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin. It was later revealed that he actually punctured his lung and injured his rib.

The 25-year-old right wing was a huge driving force for Detroit’s offense before he got injured with 12 goals and 12 points in 29 games played. At one point he was on pace for a 40-goal season. He needs to stay healthy as this is not the first time he has missed significant time due to injury over the course of his 5-year NHL career.

Robby Fabbri is hurt

Detroit cannot catch a break this season when it comes to injuries. Just as Mantha is set to return and help bolster the offense, Robby Fabbri, who has 27 points in 40 games since being acquired in a trade, is hurt himself.

If you saw Sunday’s game against the Boston Bruins, then you saw exactly how Fabbri was hurt. He was nearly sandwiched by two Bruins players during an open-ice hit in the second period. He immediately left the game and did not return. The Red Wings said he is considered day-to-day with an upper body injury.

Jonathan Ericsson back on waivers

Veteran defenseman Jonathan Ericsson already cleared waivers earlier this season, and it’s likely he will again. The 35-year-old is approaching the end of his six-year contract with the Red Wings -- it’s done at the end of this season. He carries a $4.25 million cap hit, making him a very expensive AHL player with the Grand Rapids Griffins, a team he’s played 10 games with this season.

Jonathan Ericsson of the Detroit Red Wings looks on during a stoppage in play against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on October 7, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ericsson of the Detroit Red Wings looks on during a stoppage in play against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on October 7, 2017 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)

Hirose, Smith assigned to Griffins

Forwards Taro Hirose and Givani Smith have been assigned to the Griffins upon the news of Mantha’s return. Both were sent down because center Frans Nielsen also is expected back in the lineup after missing several games due to injury.

Gustav Lindstrom remains with NHL squad

Rookie defenseman Gustav Lindstrom, 21, remains with the Red Wings for now. He is expected to play again (his 4th NHL game) against the Sabres. Coach Jeff Blashill said he is happy to see how steady the young d-man is.

Upcoming schedule

  • Feb. 11, 2020 -- 7 p.m. @ Buffalo
  • Feb. 13, 2020 -- 7 p.m. @ New Jersey
  • Feb. 15, 2020 -- 1 p.m. @ Boston
  • Feb. 16, 2020 -- 12:30 p.m. @ Pittsburgh
  • Feb. 18, 2020 -- 7:30 p.m. vs. Montreal
  • View the full schedule here.

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