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Green back for Red Wings; Avalanche start Varlamov

Detroit, Colorado face off in prelude to Stadium Series game

by Paul Harris / Correspondent

AVALANCHE (28-25-4) at RED WINGS (28-18-8) 

TV: 7:30 p.m., ET, ALT, FS-D, NHL.TV

DETROIT -- Detroit Red Wings defenseman Mike Green returns to the lineup Friday against the Colorado Avalanche after missing two games with a sore groin. 

"Just kind of seized up," said Green, who last played Feb. 6 against the New York Islanders. "It was one of those things where you finish and you go home and wake up in the morning and just sort of locked up and sore. 

"Obviously it wasn't anything that popped or I didn't feel anything in that sense but just hard to move and a little bit sore. But it feels good. Trainers did a great job of getting me back." 

Green had a goal in each of the previous two games before he was injured. 

"A wise man told me to shoot the puck recently," Green said. "So when you sort of think that way I think you create more chances for yourself. Not only that, great plays by other guys on the ice." 

He didn't reveal the identity of the wise man but said, "It was a bunch of them, Detroit scouts and management." 

The Red Wings have won three straight and face the Avalanche in a prelude to their Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game at Coors Field on Saturday, Feb. 27. 

The Avalanche didn't skate Friday, but goalie Semyon Varlamov will start for the second straight night, according to the Denver Post. 

Colorado defeated the Ottawa Senators 4-3 on Thursday as forward Jarome Iginla scored two goals to give him 604 for his career, four behind Dino Ciccarelli for 17th on the all-time list. Nathan MacKinnon and Blake Comeau also scored for the Avalanche. 

The win broke Colorado's four-game losing streak. 

"It was a big win for us when it hasn't been going our way," Iginla said after the game. "For them to come back and to make a very close game of it and to hold them off in the third period and play a good, smart game with the lead, it definitely feels good. Now we want to keep going." 

Here are the projected lineups: 

Gabriel Landeskog - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau 
Alex Tanguay - Nathan MacKinnon - Cody McLeod  
Mikhail Grigorenko - John Mitchell - Matt Duchene  
Andreas Martinsen - Chris Wagner - Jarome Iginla 

Francois Beauchemin - Erik Johnson  
Nick Holden - Tyson Barrie  
Chris Bigras - Andrew Bodnarchuk  

Semyon Varlamov 
Calvin Pickard  
Injured: Jesse Winchester (concussion), Brad Stuart (back surgery), Reto Berra (ankle) , Jack Skille (concussion) 
Scratched: Nate Guenin, Zach Redmond  

Henrik Zetterberg - Pavel Datsyuk - Justin Abdelkader  
Tomas Tatar - Brad Richards - Dylan Larkin  
Gustav Nyquist - Andreas Athanasiou - Tomas Jurco  
Riley Sheahan - Luke Glendening - Darren Helm  

Kyle Quincey - Danny DeKeyser  
Brendan Smith - Mike Green  
Jonathan Ericsson - Alexey Marchenko  

Petr Mrazek  
Jimmy Howard  

Injured: Niklas Kronwall (knee), Drew Miller (knee), Johan Franzen (concussion) 
Scratched: Teemu Pulkkinen, Jakub Kindl  

Status update: Kindl, who played in place of Green when he was out, will be a scratch. 

Who's hot: Iginla has a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists) … Datsyuk has a three-game point streak (two goals, three assists).


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