Hurt Gomez will travel with Habs

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:22 PM ET

MONTREAL -- Montreal Canadiens forward Scott Gomez, who was hurt in a 4-1 win over the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday, will travel to Detroit with the team.

Coach Jacques Martin says Gomez's condition has improved and he will be a game-time decision on Friday.

The centre's back tightened up in the second period against the Senators. Gomez will consult with medical staff and it will be up to him to decide whether to dress against the Red Wings.

"It's hard to say now," Gomez said. "I'll know more after the Friday morning skate."

Gomez tried to stay on the ice after he was hurt but the pain was too great for him to continue.

"I don't really remember how it happened," said the 11-year veteran. "I think I collided with a player's leg. "

Gomez started the season in a funk and only has nine points in 28 games. But he seemed to be coming around prior to the injury, recording two goals in his last four games.

Gomez's absence could help slumping defenceman P.K Subban, who has been a healthy scratch the last three games. Martin told reporters that he might go with seven blueliners against Detroit.

Another possibility would be to insert seldom-used centre Dustin Boyd, who has not dressed for the past 14 games.

Babcock boiling mad

The Detroit Red Wings are winless in three games and face another tough test Friday against the Montreal Canadiens, who have won three in a row.

Wings coach Mike Babcock was unimpressed with the Wings in a 3-2 loss to the Nashville Predators on Wednesday night.

"(Wednesday) night was a gift, in my opinion," Babcock told the Detroit Free Press on Thursday. "We weren't prepared to play at the start and it cost us big-time."

Babcock even broke up a line featuring two of his top players, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.

Why?

"Because they were no good," Babcock said.

The coach wasn't saying if he would reunite the two Friday night.

Testing their skills

The NHL turned to the Brampton Battalion of the OHL to put on a dress rehearsal of the all-star game skills competition.

Brendan Shanahan, the NHL vice-president of hockey and business operations, has the Battalion test events that will be used in the 2011 Honda/NHL SuperSkills Competition, according to a report on NHL.com.

Shanahan and members of the NHL's events and hockey operations department had Battalion captain Stephon Thorne and alternate Scott Tanski draft players, then the two teams participated in six events that will be used Jan. 29 in Raleigh, N.C. A new event -- a skills challenge relay -- was tried and the goalies took part in the fastest skater and shooting accuracy competitions.

"We learned a lot," Shanahan told NHL.com. "The Brampton players even held their own draft. They got into it."

The Boston Bruins shook up their minor-league affiliate with a pair of trades Thursday.

The Bruins swapped prospects with the Tampa Bay Lightning, sending centre Levi Nelson south in exchange for forward Juraj Simek. Nelson was playing with Providence of the AHL and Simek will take his spot.

In a second trade, the Bruins acquired defenceman Sean Zimmerman and a conditional seventh-round draft pick in 2011 for Jeff LoVecchio and Jordan Knackstedt. Zimmerman is destined for Providence, too.

Quick Hits

The Calgary Flames sent forward Ryan Stone to Abbotsford of the AHL ... Dallas Stars forward Toby Petersen was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Dec. 2. The Stars also called up defenceman Maxime Fortunus and sent d-man Philip Larsen to Texas of the AHL.


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