(Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)
Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk, who missed the past 14 games with a lower-body injury, traveled with the team to Florida on Wednesday and said via Twitter that he hopes to ber able to play. According to coach Mike Babcock, Datsyuk will decide if he's good to go following the morning skate Thursday.
"Yeah, better every day. It's better and now I skate with the team and it's more fun and more enjoyable and more confidence," Datsyuk said, regarding the injury.
Detroit is 6-6-2 without Datsyuk and a return by its top playmaker could help ward off the Eastern Conference teams gunning for the final wild-card spot for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Red Wings (62 points) hold the tiebreaker over the Philadelphia Flyers (62 points), having played one fewer game.
"We need Pav, he's one of our best players," Ken Holland said yesterday. "He's a dynamic player as well. When he's out there he takes a lot of attention off some other players. I think that's going to be good for the other guys."
Tonight, Pav and the Wings will look to beat Florida in Sunshine in their fifth and final meeting of the season.
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You can watch tonight's 7:30 PM matchup on Fox Sports Detroit, or listen in with Ken Kal and Paul Woods on 97.1 The Ticket or AM1270.