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Wingels, Kennedy back in Sharks' lineup

by Eric Gilmore

SAN JOSE -- Forwards Tommy Wingels and Tyler Kennedy will return to the lineup Thursday night for the San Jose Sharks against the Detroit Wings in a battle between injury-depleted teams at SAP Center.

Wingels missed five games with an upper-body injury and Kennedy was out four games with the flu. They will provide reinforcements to a team that is without five injured forwards. Logan Couture underwent surgery Wednesday on his right hand. Tomas Hertl (knee surgery), Raffi Torres (knee surgery), Adam Burish (back surgery) and Martin Havlat (lower body) are also sidelined.

"They look good and ready to go," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said of Kennedy and Wingels. "That's a nice thing to have them back, and now they have to produce."

Kennedy missed the Sharks' three-game road trip but skated on his own once while the team was out of town.

"I didn’t feel very good there for a couple days," Kennedy said. "I just lay in bed for a couple days and thankfully got better."

Kennedy will be on the third line with center Andrew Desjardins and left wing Bracken Kearns. Wingels will skate on the second line with center Patrick Marleau and right wing Matthew Nieto.

"It's good to be back," Wingles said. "You want to be in the lineup to help the team, and I'm able to do it."

Torres, Burish and Havlat all took part in the morning skate.

"They tease you a little bit because you see them and you want them in the lineup, but they're just physically not ready to play yet, and we have to wait," McLellan said.

Though Wingels and Kennedy are ready to return against Detroit, Sharks defenseman Matt Irwin will miss the game with an upper-body injury he sustained in the second period Tuesday night against the Nashville Predators. The Sharks recalled defenseman Matt Tennyson from Worcester of the American Hockey League "as insurance," McLellan said.

Red Wings defenseman Danny DeKeyser (groin) will return to the lineup, but Detroit will remain without forwards Pavel Datsyuk (groin), Darren Helm (groin), and Johan Franzen (concussion), among others. Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he had expected Helm to return against San Jose, but he'll miss his third straight game and 28th of the season.

Here are the projected lineups for the Sharks and Red Wings:


Joe Pavelski - Joe Thornton - Brent Burns

Tommy Wingels - Patrick Marleau - Matthew Nieto

Bracken Kearns - Andrew Desjardins - Tyler Kennedy

James Sheppard - John McCarthy - Mike Brown

Marc-Edouard Vlasic - Dan Boyle

Brad Stuart - Justin Braun

Scott Hannan- Jason Demers

Antti Niemi

Alex Stalock

Scratched: Eriah Hayes, Freddie Hamilton, Matt Tennyson

Injured: Matt Irwin (upper body), Tomas Hertl (knee surgery), Logan Couture (hand surgery), Martin Havlat (lower body), Adam Burish (back surgery), Raffi Torres (knee surgery)


Gustav Nyquist - Henrik Zetterberg - Daniel Alfredsson

Drew Miller - Justin Abdelkader - Todd Bertuzzi

Tomas Tatar - Joakim Andersson - Mikael Samuelsson

Daniel Cleary - Luke Glendening - Patrick Eaves

Niklas Kronwall - Brendan Smith

Kyle Quincey - Danny DeKeyser

Brian Lashoff - Jakub Kindl

Jimmy Howard

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: Alexey Marchenko

Injured: Johan Franzen (concussion), Pavel Datsyuk (lower body) Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Stephen Weiss (hernia), Jonathan Ericsson (broken ribs), Darren Helm (groin)

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