SAN JOSE, Calif.
-- Getting nine days of rest has paid off in a major way for the Red Wings, who will welcome back Henrik Zetterberg
and Johan Franzen
to the lineup for Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinals series with the San Jose Sharks.
Zetterberg didn't play during the Red Wings' first-round sweep of the Phoenix Coyotes due to a knee injury he suffered against the Carolina Hurricanes on April 6. Franzen missed Game 4 against the Coyotes due to an ankle injury.
Coach Mike Babcock said veterans Mike Modano and Kris Draper will be the healthy scratches.
Zetterberg will be reunited on a line with Pavel Datsyuk
and Tomas Holmstrom
to start Game 1, once again giving the Red Wings one of the most formidable units in the League. Zetterberg and Datsyuk combined for 139 points in 136 regular-season games and benefit from the space created by the crease-crashing Holmstrom.
The Red Wings were lacking in depth last season, Babcock said, forcing him to put Zetterberg and Datsyuk on different lines. As long as it's working, that won't be the case this season.
"They feed off one another and the guys like playing together," Babcock said. "Holmstrom goes to the net and gets out of the way for them so there's more room on the ice. They're starting together, so we'll see what happens."