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Red Wings' Datsyuk to return Friday against Sabres

Thursday, 04.03.2014 / 1:13 PM / News

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Red Wings' Datsyuk to return Friday against Sabres
Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk confirmed Thursday he plans to be in the lineup for the game Friday against the Buffalo Sabres.

Detroit Red Wings forward Pavel Datsyuk confirmed Thursday he plans to be in the lineup for the game Friday against the Buffalo Sabres.

"Looking forward to a game on Friday! I am in …," Datsyuk wrote on Twitter.

Datsyuk hasn't played since Feb. 27 due to inflammation in his right knee. He's played in 39 games this season and has 15 goals and 33 points.

"I saw him out there battling after practice," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "If it appears he's ready and feels confident, then I'm sure he is."

His return comes at an opportune time for the Red Wings, who have six games left in the regular season and hold the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference for the Stanley Cup Playoffs with 86 points.

Datsyuk said he would see how he felt after playing Friday but he hoped to play in all six games.

He practiced Thursday at wing on a line with center Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader on the opposite side, though Babcock hadn't committed to using that trio Friday.

"I'm kind of fresh, he's kind of fresh and [Abdelkader] is kind of fresh, so it'll be a pretty interesting line," Helm said.

Helm (concussion) and Abdelkader (finger) each also recently returned from injury.

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A piece of scar tissue breaks off, pinches the nerve, and every time you move your leg it's almost like having a root canal in your stomach and groin.

— Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss on his sports hernia surgery