Burns out vs. Red Wings; Hamilton to debut

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Burns out vs. Red Wings; Hamilton to debut
October 21, 2013, 9:45 am
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Brent Burns is dealing with soreness in his gums after getting hit in the mouth Saturday in the Sharks' win over the Flames. (USATSI)

Programming note: Sharks-Red Wings coverage gets underway today at 4 p.m. with Sharks Pregame Live on Comcast SportsNet Bay Area.

DETROIT – Brent Burns will miss the Sharks' game in Detroit on Monday after getting hit in the mouth on Saturday against Calgary.

Burns, tied for third on the team with four goals, could return in time for San Jose’s visit to Boston on Thursday.

“Brent won’t play tonight. He got hit in the teeth – well, he doesn’t have teeth, I guess in the gums – the other night, and they are bothering him right now,” Todd McLellan said. “He’ll be out tonight, and hopefully he’s ready to go when we get to Boston.”

Burns, who also got whacked in the face by the stick of goalie Robin Lehner against Ottawa on Oct. 12, is on the trip but was not at Joe Louis Arena on Monday morning.

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In his place, 21-year-old rookie Freddie Hamilton will start the game on a line with Joe Thornton and Tomas Hertl. Hamilton, a fifth round pick in 2010, will be making his NHL debut.

“It can’t get much better than that, one of the best players in the league and has been for a long time, so that’s pretty exciting,” said Hamilton of playing with Thornton. 

Hamilton arrived in Detroit on Sunday night. His parents, from nearby Toronto, will get to see the game in person.

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Does the captain have any advice for the rookie?

“Just enjoy it,” Thornton said. “We’ve all been through our first game and there’s a lot of nerves, so just enjoy it, have fun and work hard. I’m excited for him and looking forward to playing with him.”

Hamilton said: “It’s just really exciting. … I’ve dreamt about this for a long time, and finally it’s come true.”

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Dan Boyle did not make the trip, and McLellan did not offer much of an update on the injured defenseman.

“He’s not with us now, and as soon as he can, he’ll join us,” McLellan said.