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2014 NHL Draft

Report: Franzen, Datsyuk could miss Game 5

By Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

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Report: Franzen, Datsyuk could miss Game 5
With their season on the line, the Red Wings could be without Johan Franzen and Pavel Datsyuk in tonight's Game 5 in San Jose.
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- With their season on the line, the Detroit Red Wings could be without two of their best offensive weapons.

Johan Franzen (ankle) and Pavel Datsyuk (wrist) will be game-time decisions for Sunday night's Game 5 against the San Jose Sharks at HP Pavilion, according to the Detroit Free Press. Datsyuk and Franzen did not practice Saturday, but coach Mike Babcock said it was maintenance day for his players and he hadn't planned on making any lineup changes at the time.

Johan Franzen has been visibly hampered by an ankle injury he suffered during the first round against the Phoenix Coyotes, so it wouldn't be much of a surprise should he sit Sunday night.

Datsyuk, meanwhile, has been Detroit's most dangerous player throughout the series, which the Sharks lead 3-1. Datsyuk was in good spirits following Saturday's practice and did not avoid reporters.

If Franzen and/or Datsyuk can't go, Babcock will likely turn to Drew Miller and/or Mike Modano. Miller has been a healthy scratch since Game 2 of this series while Modano's only appearance during this postseason came in Game 4 against the Coyotes, which was the one game Franzen missed during these playoffs due to injury.

"(Miller's) a real good player, and so is Mike Modano," Babcock said Saturday. "I'm not going to hesitate. Both of them are on stand-by and both of them will be gametime decisions."

Babcock did not say who those players would replace in the lineup if they were pulled from the press box and placed into action, but how all four players look during warmups could go a long way in deciding who is in and who is out.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo
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Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

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