SUNRISE, Fla. -- Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk will make his much-anticipated return to the lineup Tuesday night against the Florida Panthers.
Datsyuk will be back after missing seven games because of a concussion he sustained as a result of an elbow from Ottawa Senators defenseman Jared Cowen on Nov. 23.
The Red Wings managed to post a 5-2-0 record during Datsyuk's absence, but have lost two of their past three. In their most recent game, the Red Wings lost to the Panthers 2-1 at Joe Louis Arena on Saturday.
"It means a lot [to have Datsyuk back], but it means a lot over the long haul," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after his team's morning skate. "If we're looking at Pavel and counting on Pavel to get 'er done, that's not how it works. We have to be way better than we were last game. The bottom line is Pavel gives us lots of confidence, he's a real good player, but the rest of us gotta play better than we did."