PITTSBURGH (AP) -Detroit Red Wings star Pavel Datsyuk is getting closer to rejoining the lineup for the defending champions.
Datsyuk has been sidelined five games by a foot injury and wasn't ready to play Tuesday night against Pittsburgh in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals.
But Detroit coach Mike Babcock says he might be back for Game 4 on Thursday. Babcock says Datsyuk was optimistic after his skate Tuesday.
Detroit center Kris Draper was cleared to play a few days ago but hasn't played in the finals. He could replace Mikael Samuelsson. Samuelsson didn't skate Tuesday for unknown reasons and his status for Game 3 is not set.