Hertl was activated before Friday night's game against Colorado. Hertl was injured in a knee-to-knee collision with Los Angeles captain Dustin Brown on Dec. 19 at Staples Center. He had surgery on Dec. 31 to repair the posterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and has been skating with the team in recent weeks.
Hertl's return provides a big boost before the playoffs begin next week against the Kings. The 20-year-old Hertl was a strong Calder Trophy candidate with 15 goals and 10 assists in his first 35 games, including a four-goal performance against the New York Rangers in his third game.
It's an incredible feeling just to see it go in and see the Joe go pretty crazy. Ever since the introduction there, I was kind of feeling the nerves, and to put that one home, I started to feel comfortable and I thought my play started to pick up.
— Nineteen-year-old Red Wings forward Dylan Larkin after scoring a goal in his NHL debut
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