DALLAS -- Detroit Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk participated in the morning skate Saturday in advance of the game against the Dallas Stars at American Airlines Center.
However, Datsyuk is a game-time decision.
"Yeah, we'll see tonight who plays," was all Red Wings coach Mike Babcock had to say about his lineup.
Datsyuk did not practice on Friday, an absence termed a "maintenance day" by Babcock.
If Datsyuk doesn't play, Luke Glendening, who has been centering Detroit's fourth line, might be in line to move up and Mikael Samuelsson would draw back into the lineup.
Right wing Patrick Eaves, who sustained a broken jaw in Detroit's 3-2 shootout loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday in the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, will likely play, but will wear a full face shield after his jaw was reset on Friday.
Defenseman Alexey Marchenko, who was recalled from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League on Friday, will his NHL debut. Marchenko had 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 33 games with the Griffins and will likely be paired with Brian Lashoff against Dallas.
"I'm excited about it. I think everyone's excited when they play in their first game," Marchenko said. "So I don't know, hope I will do well. I will try to do my best today."
Marchenko will be the fifth player to make his League debut for Detroit this season, something which Babcock sees as a great opportunity for the Russian-born defenseman.
"We've had a ton of kids up. Some guys grab it and hold onto it," Babcock said. "Glendening looks to me like he doesn't want to go anywhere, so if I'm Marchenko, that's what I do. I just make sure that I don't go anywhere."
Jimmy Howard will start in net for the Red Wings.
As for Dallas, the Stars had two players miss practice Friday due to illness, centers Rich Peverley and Tyler Seguin, but both were back on the ice for morning skate and appear ready to play.
"Everybody from the MASH unit came in this morning and is willing to play," Stars coach Lindy Ruff said. "I think a couple [of those guys] are doing a lot better than a couple of them, but again we'll get through it and we'll decide by game-time."
Defenseman Sergei Gonchar who has missed the past five games with concussion symptoms, returned to full practice earlier in the week, but his return to the ice will come Monday when Dallas starts a three-game road trip at the New York Islanders.
"I would expect Sergei to be back on the Isle," Ruff said. "He was actually hoping maybe for tonight. My feelings were hold him out, get him real good skate today, another real good practice and he'll be over it."
Backup goaltender Dan Ellis will get the nod for the Stars, his first start since Dec. 17 when he stopped 25 shots in a win against the Colorado Avalanche.
"Well, he's played well at home here," Ruff said of Ellis. "He's given us real good support. We need him to play well for us."
Here are the projected lineups:
Justin Abdelkader – Pavel Datsyuk – Todd Bertuzzi
Gustav Nyquist – Henrik Zetterberg – Daniel Alfredsson
Drew Miller – Joakim Andersson – Tomas Tatar
Daniel Cleary – Luke Glendening – Patrick Eaves
Niklas Kronwall – Brendan Smith
Alexey Marchenko – Kyle Quincey
Brian Lashoff - Jakub Kindl
Injured: Danny DeKeyser (groin), Patrick Eaves (jaw), Jonathan Ericsson (fractured ribs), Johan Franzen (concussion symptoms), Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Darren Helm (sore groin), Stephen Weiss (sports hernia surgery).
Scratched: Mikael Samuelsson
Jamie Benn – Tyler Seguin – Valeri Nichushkin
Antoine Roussel - Cody Eakin – Ryan Garbutt
Erik Cole – Rich Peverley – Alex Chiasson
Shawn Horcoff – Vernon Fiddler – Ray Whitney
Alex Goligoski – Brenden Dillon
Aaron Rome - Jordie Benn
Kevin Connauton – Cameron Gaunce
Injured: Trevor Daley (ankle), Sergei Gonchar (concussion symptoms), Stephane Robidas (leg)
Scratched: Dustin Jeffrey