The Detroit Red Wings may be seeing some relief in the coming weeks.
"[Mike] Modano won't be back right away, but it sounds like the other two will be back in Ottawa [Feb. 2], and I think Tomas [Holmstrom] is expected as well," Babcock told reporters.
Cleary (fractured ankle) and Datsyuk (wrist) have been out since late December, while Holmstrom (broken hand) was sidelined on Jan. 14. Modano, who has been out since suffering a wrist laceration on Nov. 26, isn't expected back until some time in March.
Detroit's goaltending unit has also been hit by injuries. Chris Osgood had hernia surgery last week and is expected to be out until March. Jimmy Howard has been slowed by a bruised right knee, but returned to the lineup Thursday after missing two games and made 26 saves in the Red Wings' 4-3 overtime victory against the Blues.