DETROIT — We have seen teases from Vinny Lecavalier before: his two-goal game against the Coyotes and his two-assist games against the Panthers and Senators.
The captain has never been able to follow up.
But after Tuesday's two-goal, three-point game against the Predators, the center said he might be ready to turn a corner.
"I'm hoping it's going to build," he said Wednesday. "I've been feeling better as the year has gone on. Scoring chances have definitely been there, so, yeah, I'm hoping to keep going."
Other good signs: Lecavalier, who has eight goals, finally got his first on the power play. He said he is playing more instinctively, and coach Rick Tocchet said, "His defensive zone coverages have been 10 times better. That's the thing I'm really happy with. Now the offensive game will start to come. … We need his defense. We need his offense. We need his leadership more than ever."
"Obviously, when the team isn't winning, it's never enough," said Lecavalier, who has three goals, eight points in his past seven games. "When you're losing, everybody needs to give more. It would be a great time to build on it, for sure."
HEDMAN HURT: D Victor Hedman briefly left practice after taking a shot off his left foot or ankle from Kurtis Foster. Hedman limped to the locker room after practice and limped, with his left shoe untied, to the team bus. "I can play," he said.
MORE INJURIES: RW Steve Downie, who left Tuesday's game after he hit his forehead on the ice when he slipped and fell throwing a punch at Shea Weber, sat our practice and is day to day. … C Zenon Konopka (sore neck, sore left wrist, five stitches in his cheek) said he was not 100 percent sure he would play tonight.