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Bertuzzi Undergoes Surgery; Expected to Miss Six Weeks

Toronto Maple Leafs v Detroit Red Wings Photo by Dave Reginek/NHLI via Getty Images

For the second time this season, the Red Wings will be without Tyler Bertuzzi for an extended period of time.

The team confirmed Bertuzzi underwent surgery on his left hand Friday morning (the opposite hand of the one injured earlier this year.) Per Derek Lalonde, he’s expected to miss six weeks. As we wrote yesterday, the Wings had already put Bertuzzi on Injured Reserve and recalled Austin Czarnik from Grand Rapids.

Bertuzzi appeared to get hit in the hand with a shot late in the third period of Wednesday’s game against the Sabres. It’s a tough break for Bertuzzi, who missed all but two games in October due to a separate hand injury. He had been slow regaining his form since that initial injury — with just 3 points in his 7 games since his return — but it appeared Lalonde was prioritizing a way to give Bertuzzi’s line a spark, which included moving Michael Rasmussen up to his line.

While his play of late hasn’t been up to last season’s standard, Bertuzzi is still a big weapon, and his loss further tests the depth of a Red Wings team already missing two big offensive threats in Jakub Vrana and Robby Fabbri. Per Daniella Bruce, the Red Wings have moved Pius Suter up to the second line in Bertuzzi’s spot, but the team will need others — like Rasmussen and Oskar Sundqvist — to shoulder some of the offensive burden as well.

The Red Wings host the red-hot Golden Knights Saturday at Little Caesars Arena, so there’s not much of an adjustment period before this re-shuffled lineup is tested.