If Detroit Red Wings all-star defenceman Nicklas Lidstrom didn't seem in top form throughout the Stanley Cup final, there is good reason.
General manager Ken Holland said Sunday the Swedish blue-liner missed the last two games of the Western Conference final against Chicago because of surgery.
Holland said the operation was May 24 — the day of Detroit's 6-1 win in Game 4 — although he would not say what kind of surgery.
Lidstrom told the Detroit Free Press he had testicular surgery after Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp speared him in a May 22 game.
The Red Wings rearguard returned to the ice for the Cup final, won by the Pittsburgh Penguins in seven games.
Lidstrom finished the playoffs fourth in team scoring with four goals and 16 points in 21 contests.
A six-time Norris Trophy winner as the NHL's top defenceman, his plus-11 rating placed him in a tie for third on the team with defence partner Brian Rafalski.
Lidstrom had 13 points last spring, when he became the first European-born captain to hoist the Stanley Cup.