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Wings coach: Abdelkader’s return from suspension is ‘huge’

May 9, 2013, 11:11 PM EDT

Comments Off on Wings coach: Abdelkader’s return from suspension is ‘huge’
Justin Abdelkader #8 of the Detroit Red Wings reacts to his goal with the bench to take a 1-0 lead over the Anaheim Ducks during the first period in Game Two of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Honda Center on May 2, 2013 in Anaheim, California. Getty Images

Detroit Red Wings forward Justin Abdelkader has served his time for his “unfortunate” hit on Anaheim defenseman Toni Lydman.

Now that his two-game suspension is over, Abdelkader will play alongside Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk on Detroit’s top line, according to the Detroit Free Press.

“Huge for us,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said of getting Abdelkader back. “He’s been a physical presence for us. I think he makes Z and Pav way better. That’ll really help.”

As for the hit that got Abdelkader in trouble in the first place, he conceded that if put in the same situation again he’ll “be smarter about it and target a little lower.”

Lydman suffered a head injury and won’t play in Game 6 on Friday.

If you haven’t seen Abdelkader’s hit, here it is:

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