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Datsyuk getting closer, but not back yet for Wings

NHL.com @NHL

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.

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