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With no Abdelkader, Samuelsson bumps up to Wings’ top line

May 6, 2013, 3:06 PM EDT

Mikael Samuelsson

Veteran forward Mikael Samuelsson will be skating with Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on Detroit’s top line when the Red Wings host the Ducks in Game 4 of their series (Anaheim leads, 2-1) tonight at Joe Louis Arena.

Samuelsson will replace the suspended Justin Abdelkader.

“It is a good opportunity. I’m excited about it,” Samuelsson said, per

“I’ve been here before and I’ve played with good players. I know what they’re capable of and I’ll try to find some open spots.”

Samuelsson has been hampered by injuries (groin, pectoral, broken finger) this season, but the 36-year-old does have 58 points in 100 career playoff games.

Here’s how all four Wings lines look:

Henrik Zetterberg – Pavel Datsyuk – Mikael Samuelsson

Valtteri FilppulaJohan FranzenDaniel Cleary

Gustav NyquistJoakim AnderssonDamien Brunner

Patrick EavesCory EmmertonTodd Bertuzzi

Related: Wings’ Abdelkader laments ‘unfortunate’ hit

  1. thehighcountrybear - May 6, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    Good news if Samuelsson’s truly ready…bit of mean with a wicked wrist shot perfect for Hillier’s lazy trapper high [ please start Hiller, pleeeeease ]?

    I like Bertuzzi hooking up with Eaves and Emmerton…speed, grit, hands, should win some pucks for Todd to work some magic [ please start Hiller, pleeeease ]?

  2. beelza - May 6, 2013 at 4:10 PM

    Line shuffling is fine, but the one position the detroit red wings cannot shuffle is goalie. Howard, in back-to-back games, has allowed 6 goals, 3 in each game, all in the third period. Meltdowns like that lead to early fast exits in playoff hockey. Wings lose the series, 4-1.

  3. 13datsyuk13 - May 6, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    The wings will outshoot the ducks by 40. None will be quality shots but Samuelson will shoot every time he gets possession. It doesn’t matter where he is on the ice, offensive, neutral even defensive zone he won’t hesitate to shoot. Look for Hiller to gain confidence early while Sammy fires off 30 shots in the 1st period.
    Horrible move coach, Tootoo would be a better replacement for Abby.

  4. thehighcountrybear - May 6, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    I’ve been all over Howard so I’m hesitant to continue, but…

    You’re right. Jimmy’s going through another shaky stretch, and seems to be at sea some times. We’re still not getting our money’s worth every night…maddening because he’s a world beater if right.

    The Wings have exceeded expectation but like all teams, need rock-solid goaltending to overcome apparently superior teams.

    I still like their chances tonight; well rested after being on the road playing flat-out just to make the post season. Bet the mortgage…

  5. jacketsfan7 - May 6, 2013 at 6:20 PM

    Good move by Babcock , he shoots the puck so well

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