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Cal Clutterbuck injury becoming cause for concern

Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek, 34, blocks a

Detroit Red Wings goalie Petr Mrazek, 34, blocks a shot by New York Islanders right wing Cal Clutterbuck, 15, as Tomas Tatar, 21, defends during the first period of an NHL game on Friday, Feb. 3, 2017, in Detroit.  Credit: AP / Paul Sancya

Cal Clutterbuck missed his third game in the last four Monday night with a lower-body injury that is cause for concern. Clutterbuck missed three straight, from Jan. 16-21, with a lower-body injury. This is a different injury in a similar area that has coach Doug Weight thinking Clutterbuck might need more time to heal.

“He felt so good Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday,” Weight said of Clutterbuck, who has three goals and 12 assists in 44 games this season. “He was kind of begging me to play Tuesday [against the Capitals]. But the last thing we want is this lengthening out to a month or six weeks. We’ll try to nip it in the bud here for the next little while and see what happens.”

Shane Prince again took Clutterbuck’s spot on a line with Casey Cizikas and Nikolay Kulemin and they had a goal for the second straight game.

Hamonic needs more time

Travis Hamonic’s injury did not seem serious when he caught a knee-on-knee hit from the Coyotes’ Lawson Crouse on Jan. 7 in Glendale, Arizona.

“You know what kind of warrior he is, and the fact that he came back and played the final 30 minutes that night says as much,” Weight said.

But Hamonic, who had injuries to his left and right medial collateral ligaments during the previous two seasons, hasn’t played since. Monday night marked the 13th straight game he has missed. That’s more than he missed after suffering a torn left MCL in the penultimate game of the 2014-15 regular season or when he suffered a similar injury to his right knee in the final week of the 2015-16 season.

“He’s had some stiffness there, so you wouldn’t call it a setback, but with the fact he’s had issues in the same area before, we have to be smart,” Weight said of the current injury to Hamonic’s right knee. It isn’t known whether this injury is another MCL problem.

Weight predicted late last week that Hamonic would need “at least a couple more weeks.”

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