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Kronwall returns to Red Wings lineup

After missing 15 games with knee injury, defenseman will face Blue Jackets

by Paul Harris / NHL.com Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (24-29-7) at RED WINGS (29-20-11)

TV: 7:30 p.m., ET, NBCSN, FS-D 

DETROIT - Detroit Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall will return against the Columbus Blue Jackets Friday at Joe Louis Arena after missing 15 games following arthroscopic knee surgery.

"Knee feels good, so ready to go," Kronwall said. 

Kronwall said his conditioning and timing will have to get back up to speed as he plays. 

"Those are the two things that it doesn't matter how much you skate on your own," he said. "Once the game gets going, it's all game-type situations, and it's hard to simulate that in practice." 

Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said Kronwall will play on the power play, but won't kill penalties. 

"I think the biggest thing is to keep your expectations in check," Blashill said. "I thought Nick was playing really, really well when he had the surgery, playing at a really high level, but we can't expect him to hop on the ice today and be as good as he was when he left off just because of the time off. There's rust, whether it's physical, mental." 

The day after their 6-4 win at the Boston Bruins, the Blue Jackets did not skate or conduct media availability Tuesday morning. 

Boone Jenner scored two goals Monday and Joonas Korpisalo made 26 saves in his 12th consecutive start. That came after being pulled in a 4-0 loss against the Buffalo Sabres on Friday. Korpisalo allowed all four goals, including one from 149 feet against Buffalo. 

"I felt good," Korpisalo told NHL.com after the game Monday. "I felt good in that last game, too, but at least no goals from the other end. I don't know, three tips today. I don't know if the last one hit someone but it was kind of a hard game. I had a lot of shots and they just tried to get pucks to the net and redirect it, but four goals today and we won so probably better, but we got the win today so I'm happy for that." 

Here are the projected lineups: 

BLUE JACKETS 

Scott Hartnell - Alexander Wennberg - Brandon Saad  
Boone Jenner - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson  
Matt Calvert - William Karlsson - Nick Foligno  
Kerby Rychel - Gregory Campbell - Rene Bourque  

Ryan Murray - Seth Jones  
Jack Johnson - David Savard  
Fedor Tyutin - Dalton Prout  

Curtis McElhinney  
Joonas Korpisalo 

Injured: Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), David Clarkson (upper body), Jared Boll (foot). 
Scratched: Cody Goloubef, Justin Falk  

RED WINGS 

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

Danny DeKeyser-Kyle Quincey 
Niklas Kronwall-Alexey Marchenko 
Brendan Smith-Mike Green 

Petr Mrazek  
Jimmy Howard  

Injured: Drew Miller (knee), Jonathan Ericsson (lower body), Johan Franzen (concussion) 
Scratched: Tomas Jurco, Xavier Ouellet  

Status update: Nyquist, who has gone 10 games without a goal, moves up to the first line, and Abdelkader moves from the first line to the second line.

Who's hot: Jenner has four goals in his past four games … Wennberg has a goal and two assists in his past three games.

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