- Craig Custance
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DETROIT -- Anaheim Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman's status for the remainder of his team's first-round series against Detroit is very much in doubt as he recovers from a hit that earned Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader a two-game suspension.
Lydman likely will miss as much time as, if not more than, Abdelkader will in punishment, Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said Monday. Lydman is still dealing with headaches as a result of the Game 3 hit and won't play in Game 4 on Monday night.
Sheldon Souray will return to the Ducks' lineup after being a healthy scratch in Game 2.
"He's been a workhorse and we love him back there," Boudreau said of Souray.
Following the Red Wings' morning skate Monday, Abdelkader spoke to reporters for the first time since the hit and suspension and stressed that it was never his intent to injure Lydman and hopes he returns to the lineup as soon as possible.
"With the speed of the game, things happen so fast. It's unfortunate it happened," Abdelkader said.
His biggest takeaway from the experience?
"You've got to really get low on the hits," Abdelkader said. "You can't get anywhere near the head."
Todd Bertuzzi will return to Detroit's lineup in Abdelkader's place and coach Mike Babcock confirmed that he'll start the game with Mikael Samuelsson in Abdelkader's spot on the Red Wings' top line. Samuelsson played in only four regular-season games because of various injuries and made his playoff debut in Saturday's loss to the Ducks, registering two shots on goal in 11:48 of ice time.
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