Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk did not dress for Game 4 of the Stanley Cup final Thursday night against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Datsyuk, a Hart Trophy finalist and fourth-leading scorer in the regular season, will miss his seventh consecutive game with a foot injury.
The Wings were optimistic that Datsyuk, one of the best two-way players in the NHL, would play after he took part in Thursday morning's skate, but the centre didn't respond to the extra work.
"I thought the way it sounded this morning he was going to be fine. But when he stayed on so long and didn't have the pop out of his right foot that he expected … we felt that we better wait another day," Wings coach Mike Babcock told Hockey Night In Canada.
"So we're day-to-day and we're hoping [to get him] at any time."
Veteran Kris Draper, who sat out his last six contests, did take part in Thursday night's contest.
"[He can help] in the faceoff circle in particular, but the big thing he brings is grit and maturity," said Babcock. "He's been through many of these before and has had a lot of success. He's going to bring us, I think, a good forecheck and then some grind time."
Detroit leads the best-of-seven series 2-1 and can clinch its fifth Stanley Cup title in 12 years with two more victories.