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Bertuzzi in Game 2 lineup for Red Wings

by Curtis Zupke

ANAHEIM -- Deep in the recesses of the Detroit Red Wings locker room, a player could be heard playfully singing out Todd Bertuzzi's name, presumably summoning Bertuzzi to the throng of media waiting.

Bertuzzi is ready for his close-up.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock confirmed at the morning skate Thursday that Bertuzzi, 38, will return to the lineup for Game 2 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Anaheim Ducks (10 p.m. ET, NBCSN, TSN, RDS).

Anaheim won Game 1 on Tuesday, 3-1.

Bertuzzi has not played since Feb. 7 because of back and leg injuries. He will replace Jordin Tootoo on the fourth line, with Cory Emmerton and Patrick Eaves.

"I don't really care where I'm playing," Bertuzzi said. "I'm in the lineup, putting on the jersey, and I'll do whatever I can to help these guys out. If that entails six minutes, 10 minutes, whatever it is, I got to be the best I can out there."

Babcock on Wednesday sounded like it was a long shot to insert Bertuzzi or Mikael Samuelsson, who also is available and will be a game-time decision. But Babcock reversed course to lean on Bertuzzi's 80 games of Stanley Cup Playoffs experience.

"We'll see," Babcock said. "When he plays well he's a big man with good hands. We need him to take care of the puck and be on the forecheck and grind down low. He hasn't played all year. It's going to be a tough thing for him, no question about it."

How will Babcock know if Bertuzzi is up to speed?

"Who has the puck after he has it?" Babcock said. "That's the game. That's soccer. That's basketball. That's football. If you give the puck up, did you do it in a controlled manner? You go watch 10-year-old girls soccer. After they have it, does someone else have it? Usually. Ping pong. We don't want to play ping pong."

Bertuzzi said this season has been as difficult as it sounds. He hasn't played since Feb. 7. He tried to play against the Los Angeles Kings at the end of the regular season but couldn't get cleared. He has 42 points in those 80 postseason games, not to mention 1,100 regular season games under his belt.

"The one thing I've got going for me is it's not my first year," he said. "I've been around a bit. I understand the game and I understand the playoff game. I'm just going to try and get it deep and work them down low and try to get our chances there and try to play solid defensively and try to keep it as short as possible."

Samuelsson said he's been ready to return from a pectoral muscle injury and has been waiting for a chance.

"It's a little frustrating, but at the same time, I get it," Samuelsson said. "The team is playing good. They played good to get us in the playoffs. I think we can get small things together and have a good chance to come up with a win. For me personally, I got to stay in there and do what's best for the team.

"I'm very anxious. I like playoffs. I think everybody does. I would love to play the games."

For the Ducks, coach Bruce Boudreau confirmed that defenseman Luca Sbisa is available but said he wants to stick with the same lineup. Sbisa missed the final six regular-season games with a lower-body injury.

Forward Radek Dvorak took turns on the fourth line but it appears the Ducks will stick with the same lineup.

That means Jonas Hiller will start in goal again.

"He didn't have any lapses as far as thought process," Boudreau said. "He was always into it. Every save he was following the puck … maybe sometimes you've seen over the year [there was] that soft goal -- he could play great for 58 minutes. [But] I didn't see that."

Here is how the teams could look for Game 2:


Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader

Valtteri Filppula - Johan Franzen - Daniel Cleary

Gustav Nyquist - Joakim Andersson - Damien Brunner

Patrick Eaves - Cory Emmerton - Todd Bertuzzi

Niklas Kronwall - Jonathan Ericsson

Kyle Quincey - Brendan Smith

Jakub Kindl - Danny DeKeyser

Jimmy Howard

Jonas Gustavsson

Scratched: Jordin Tootoo, Mikael Samuelsson, Ian White, Brian Lashoff, Carlo Colaiacovo

Injured: Darren Helm (back), Drew Miller (hand)


Bobby Ryan - Ryan Getzlaf - Corey Perry

Kyle Palmieri - Nick Bonino - Teemu Selanne

Daniel Winnik - Saku Koivu - Andrew Cogliano

Matt Beleskey - David Steckel - Emerson Etem

Sheldon Souray - Ben Lovejoy

Cam Fowler - Francois Beauchemin

Bryan Allen - Toni Lydman

Jonas Hiller

Viktor Fasth

Scratched: Luca Sbisa, Matthew Lombardi, Brad Staubitz, Radek Dvorak, Sami Vatanen, Patrick Maroon, Devante Smith-Pelly

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