Darren Helm, who hasn't played since Dec. 4 due to a shoulder injury, practiced on a line with Tomas Jurco and Justin Abdelkader at the morning skate and coach Mike Babcock said he will play, according to a report from Ansar Khan of MLive.com. Helm has seven goals and three assists in 15 games this season.
Howard will start against the Predators in the Red Wings' final tune-up for the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Wednesday against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium. A sprained MCL has kept Howard out since Dec. 10. Howard is 6-8-7 with a 2.65 goals-against average and .910 save percentage in 21 appearances.
Johan Franzen also skated for the Red Wings for the first time since suffering a concussion on Dec. 15. However, he said he's not symptom-free and won't be ready to play by the Winter Classic.