Pavel Datsyuk, Niklas Kronwall, Daniel Alfredsson Miss Red Wings Practice

Pavel Datsyuk, Zdeno CharaThe Detroit Red Wings practiced at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday, and three key players were not in attendance.

Defenseman Niklas Kronwall and forwards Pavel Datsyuk and Daniel Alfredsson all missed practice Wednesday as the Red Wings prepare for Game 4 of their Eastern Conference quarterfinal series against the Boston Bruins.

Alfredsson did not play in Game 3 due to a sore back, and the Bruins scored two goals in the first period en route to a 3-0 victory and 2-1 series lead.

Datsyuk and Kronwall, meanwhile, both missed Wednesday’s practice for personal reasons. Datsyuk’s wife recently gave birth, while Kronwall’s girlfriend is expected to have a baby on Wednesday.

When asked if he was worried about the status of his two star players for Thursday’s game, head coach Mike Babcock joked, “They’re not giving birth. Their wives are.”

The Wings also shored up their defense by recalling rookie defenseman Xavier Ouellet, who was seen skating in Wednesday’s practice. The 20-year-old Frenchman played in just four games this season after being taken by Detroit in the second round of the 2011 NHL draft.