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DeKeyser, Helm close

by Dana Wakiji / Detroit Red Wings
Danny DeKeyser, who suffered a foot injury in Pittsburgh Sept. 30, hopes to make his season debut when the Red Wings visit Montreal this Saturday. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT -- It looks like Danny DeKeyser is a quick healer.

DeKeyser was hurt in the third period of the Wings' exhibition game in Pittsburgh Sept. 30.

"I just kind of twisted it," DeKeyser said. "I kind of got bumped in the boards and twisted it in the corner and played another shift, wasn't really feeling right. After that game, I took my skate off and kind of knew it."

The original diagnosis was that DeKeyser had strained ligaments in his left foot and would miss three to four weeks.

But DeKeyser returned to practice this week and was able to participate almost fully.

"A step forward for DK for sure," Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. "He certainly looks real good out there. We’re hoping to have him at some point on the weekend. I’d say probably the earliest would be Saturday is what we’d be shooting for. But we’ll still take it day to day."

DeKeyser said he has had his ankle treated and it has responded well.

"There was some swelling after but we just did the stuff that you would try to do to heal up a sprained ankle. Icing and some acupuncture and stuff like that," DeKeyser said. "I did some battling stuff out there today and so far it's felt good, no issues with it."

If DeKeyser is ready to play Saturday in Montreal, the Wings could send Alexey Marchenko to Grand Rapids.

HELM ALSO A POSSIBILITY; FRANZEN STILL OUT: Blashill said Darren Helm, recovering from the concussion he suffered the first day of training camp, might also be able to play Saturday.

"Still day-to-day and that could change," Blashill said. "But that’s what we’re shooting for right now."

Johan Franzen, who skated Tuesday morning and then did not feel well, was scratched from Tuesday's game and did not practice Wednesday.

Blashill said there was nothing new on Franzen.

If Franzen continues to not feel well, the Wings could place him on short-term injured reserve and then remove Helm from IR without making any other roster changes.

ZETTERBERG, GREEN MISS PRACTICE: Captain Henrik Zetterberg, who has two goals and five assists in the first three games, did not practice Wednesday.

Defenseman Mike Green also did not skate.

Blashill said both players took maintenance days.

PK CLICKING: The Red Wings have allowed just one power-play goal in 12 chances so far this season and are ranked sixth in the league behind Chicago, Edmonton, Anaheim, San Jose and Arizona, who have not allowed one.

"I think there are probably three things that make a penalty kill real effective," Blashill said. "One is a real good play. Tony Granato has done a real good job in this league for a long time in the penalty kill, and he certainly has this year in putting together a good play. Two, is having good killers and I think we have some guys in (Drew) Miller and (Luke) Glendening who are elite. Abby (Justin Abdelkader), (Landon) Ferraro, (Riley) Sheahan, other guys have done a real good job as well, they’re real good killers. And then probably three is good goaltending. When you’re going to break down on the penalty kill you’re gonna give up shots, you have to have good goaltending and as a result we have done, so far, we’ve done a real good job."

Blashill has made a few tweaks to the penalty kill but nothing too drastic.

"I think our structure has been good," Abdelkader said. "We’ve had guys sacrificing blocking shots. Doing a pretty good job on our clears and getting good goaltending. It’s early, but it’s a good start for us."

Miller said being on the same page is the most important thing for the penalty killers.

"I think everyone on the ice has got to be working as a four-man unit and five with the goalie," Miller said. "You’ve got to be pretty true to your systems. It’s not like power play where you can ad lib a little bit. Penalty kill the other guy’s got to know exactly what the other guy is doing and read off of that. It’s just sticking to the system. For us it’s working hard at blocking shots and relying on our goaltending."

Miller has also had to contend with having to kill a penalty after breaking his stick, managing to block shots anyway.

"Obviously you can’t go and skate around without a stick so you usually try to stay tight to the crease area, just above there, kind of block shots and kind of survive until we can get the puck out and you can get off the ice," Miller said. "It’s definitely not a fun situation but it’s definitely one you’ve got to make the most of and count on the guys to bail you out."

FRIDAY'S STARTING GOALTENDER: Blashill said he would announce Friday morning which goaltender would start that night against the Carolina Hurricanes.

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