With goaltender Jimmy Howard the Wings' latest injury casualty, journeyman Joey MacDonald will be in net as two of the NHL's top teams meet Tuesday night in Pittsburgh minus some of their usual star power.
Crosby hasn't played since Jan. 5 because of a concussion, but with center Jordan Staal back in the lineup, the Penguins (28-14-4) aren't dealing with any significant injuries aside from their captain's.
The injury news got worse Friday after a 3-2 shootout loss to Columbus. Holmstrom broke his hand, which will keep him out at least a month, and Howard bruised his knee, which sidelined him Saturday against the Blue Jackets and will shelve him Tuesday as well.
MacDonald wasn't great in Howard's place, but he got his first win since Dec. 3, 2009. He made 25 saves and Johan Franzen scored 45 seconds into overtime to lift the Red Wings to a 6-5 victory.
"We've got to find different ways, different players to step up each night," said center Darren Helm, who has 10 points in his last nine games. "And that's what we've been doing so far."
MacDonald is 1-3-1 with a 4.24 goals-against average in five starts versus Pittsburgh.
The Penguins needed a little more time to adjust to life without Crosby, who still has a five-point cushion on Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos for the NHL scoring lead.
Pittsburgh scored three goals in going 0-2-1 in its first three without its captain, but the Penguins are starting to find their way. They scored four power-play goals in a 5-2 win at Montreal on Wednesday, then beat Boston 3-2 on Saturday.
Staal had two goals and three assists in the victories, his first points of the season after making his debut Jan. 1.
"I think a lot of things are starting to come back," Staal said. "My legs have felt better the last few games. Just timing is the biggest thing that's starting to come back -- just getting open and finding openings."
The Penguins and Red Wings have met 17 times since the beginning of the 2008 Stanley Cup finals, won by Detroit in six games. Pittsburgh got revenge in seven games in 2009, and the teams split two meetings last season -- each winning on home ice.
"When you compete against another organization in the finals two years in a row, there's always going to be that rivalry, even if we only play each other once or twice a year," Penguins forward Chris Kunitz said. "They're obviously one of the best teams in the West, even with quite a few injuries. So it's going to be a good matchup."
While Henrik Zetterberg has stepped up with Datsyuk injured -- he's recorded six goals and 11 assists in the 13 games since Datsyuk went down -- Pittsburgh hasn't gotten the same boost from Evgeni Malkin. The 2009 Conn Smythe Trophy winner has two assists since Crosby was hurt, and has two goals in his last 12 games.
The Penguins have won four straight at home in the series since Game 3 of the 2009 finals, with Marc-Andre Fleury posting a 1.47 GAA in those victories.
AccuScore has powered more than 10,000 simulations for every NHL game on ESPN.com, calculating how each team's performance changes in response to game conditions and opponent's abilities. Each game is simulated and the game is replayed a minimum of 10,000 times to generate forecasted winning percentages.