More bad news on the injury front for the Red Wings.

Henrik Zetterberg was a late scratch with a groin injury before Sunday's 7-1 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wings have classified Zetterberg's status as day to day, but he isn't expected to play tonight when the Wings host the Colorado Avalanche.

"I don't know," coach Mike Babcock said about Zetterberg's status. "But this is what I do know about groins: If you missed today, you're probably not playing tomorrow."

On a day that the Wings were supposed to get healthier up front with the long-awaited return of Mikael Samuelsson, they got worse.

Samuelsson, who played in only his fourth game this season and his first since Feb. 17, played only 9:05 in 12 shifts before he left with an upper-body injury. Samuelsson, who has battled a groin and finger injury, played well and delivered a nice hit late in the first period.

General manager Ken Holland called Samuelsson's upper-body injury "nothing significant. He's day to day," adding that Samuelsson will get tests today just as a precaution.

Zetterberg is the wild card, though. He is the team's captain, and his presence might have made a difference on the ice during the rout. He is also second on the team with 32 points.

The Wings tried to downplay Zetterberg's absence as an excuse for their poor performance.

"To me, that shouldn't have any effect on anything," Babcock said. "Those are all excuses. We put our uniform on today; we didn't compete hard enough to wear it."

Maybe. But there's also a reason Zetterberg has a $73-million contract and a "C" on his chest. And it isn't because he's just an average player.