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Franzen a game-time decision for Red Wings

By Dave Lozo - Staff Writer

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Franzen a game-time decision for Red Wings
Will the ankle injury that's kept Johan Franzen out since late in Game 5 be healed enough to let him play in Game 7? We'll have to wait until game-time to find out.
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Johan Franzen is showing his stubborn side, doing everything he can to get back in the lineup for the Detroit Red Wings.

Franzen, nicknamed "The Mule," took part in Thursday's morning skate here at HP Pavilion after an ankle injury sidelined him for Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals against the Sharks. Franzen appeared to have to more mobility and less pain in his injured ankle, turning and stopping with less effort.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Franzen will be a game-time decision for Game 7 Thursday (9 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN, RDS) against the Sharks.

"I'll talk to the trainers and decide at game time what we're doing," Babcock said. "That's what it's all about. Can he go? Can he compete in a 1-on-1 battle? Can he get the puck out? Can he get it in? Can he get going or not get going? They tried something different with him today, so if that can help him, great. If not, we got lots of guys hungry to go."

Franzen wasn't available following Thursday's practice, but Mike Modano was at his locker. Modano made his second appearance of the postseason in Game 6 when he replaced Franzen in the lineup. If Franzen is healthy, he could be the odd man out.

"You wait and see," said Modano, who probably will play in Game 7 if Franzen can't go. "I'm just going to approach it like I'm playing. We'll see how (Franzen) feels tonight at the game. Now I have to nervously wait all day."

Modano admitted if the Red Wings are eliminated Thursday, it's probably the end of his Hall-of-Fame career.

"This probably will be it for me," Modano said. "You savor a lot of the games at this point. You relish the moments you have now because it goes fast and it's over before you know it."

Modano has had a lot of success playing at HP Pavilion. In 39 career games here, he has 37 points.

"It goes back to even before that in the Cow Palace days," Modano said of the Sharks' original home. "It's a division team (when he played in Dallas), and sometimes you get comfortable coming here and get used to the building. It's a great atmosphere. It's loud all the time. The sights are good, the lighting is good. It's just one of those buildings where you get a comfort level right away from the day it opened."

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