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Alfredsson's return among Detroit's Game 5 moves

by Matt Kalman

BOSTON -- Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock confirmed Saturday that forward Daniel Alfredsson is scheduled to play against the Boston Bruins in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round on at TD Garden (3 p.m. ET; NBC, RDS, TSN).

Alfredsson replaces Todd Bertuzzi.

Babcock also said goaltender Jimmy Howard will return to the lineup to back up starter Jonas Gustavsson and defenseman Xavier Ouellet will replace Jakub Kindl.

The Red Wings will try to avoid elimination, down 3-1 in the best-of-7 series.

Alfredsson missed the past two games because of a back injury. He was without a point in the first two games of the series. Babcock said he believes the veteran is ready to contribute on the ice and off.

“I mean the player’s got to be healthy enough to skate. We talk about leadership. Leadership, I mean sure saying the right things is important, but playing right is way more important,” Babcock said. “If you can’t skate, you can’t play. And so we’ve gone through this for a while. Any of these back injuries where they get the shooting pain down their legs makes it hard for you to skate. And when you’re a little bit concerned and you don’t get involved, it makes it hard. Alfie skated hard [Friday] in practice. Probably as good as he’s skated in a long time. And so we put him in.”

Kindl is without a point and a minus-2 through four games. Ouellet has no experience in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but Babcock said he liked what he saw in the rookie’s four NHL games in the regular season. Ouellet didn’t have a point in those games but landed four shots on net and threw seven hits. He had four goals and 17 points in 71 games for Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League

“He’s a real smart player. He’s played well when he’s been up,” Babcock said. “We’ve liked him. So we’re making the change because we felt we needed to make a change.”

Howard missed Game 4 because of the flu. Babcock said the goaltender is well enough to at least sit on the bench.

Here are the projected lineups:


Milan LucicDavid KrejciJarome Iginla

Brad MarchandPatrice BergeronReilly Smith

Justin FlorekCarl SoderbergLoui Eriksson

Jordan CaronGregory CampbellShawn Thornton

Zdeno CharaDougie Hamilton

Matt BartkowskiJohnny Boychuk

Torey KrugKevan Miller

Tuukka Rask

Chad Johnson


Henrik ZetterbergPavel DatsyukJustin Abdelkader

Johan FranzenDarren HelmDaniel Alfredsson

David Legwan – Luke GlendeningDrew Miller

Tomas TatarRiley SheahanGustav Nyquist

Nicklas Kronwall – Brendan Smith

Kyle QuinceyDanny DeKeyser

Xavier OuelletBrian Lashoff

Jonas Gustavsson

Jimmy Howard

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