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After seven-game absence, Datsyuk back for Detroit on Tuesday

Dec 9, 2013, 5:45 PM EDT

Pavel Datsyuk AP

Pavel Datsyuk is back.

Detroit’s leading goalscorer will return to the lineup on Tuesday — for the first time in seven games — when the Wings take on the Panthers in Florida. Datsyuk, who hasn’t played since suffering a head injury against Ottawa on Nov. 23, will rejoin a Red Wings team that’s caught fire recently — they went 5-2-0 in the seven games sans Datsyuk, with Johan Franzen leading the way with nine points.

“I thought Franzen was a star when Pav was out,” head coach Mike Babcock told the Detroit Free Press. “Leadership-wise, determination-wise, how he played. Now that’s the bench mark. You don’t go back to the other guy. You continue to be what you’ve been. He should be proud of how he played, and now we need him to keep playing like that.”

Things should continue to roll for Franzen, as he’ll be centered by Datsyuk on Tuesday — but that won’t be the only line of note. The Tomas Tatar-Gustav Nyquist-Joakim Andersson unit also impressed over the last seven games and earned high praise from Babcock.

As for how Datsyuk is feeling after so much time off?

“Feel OK,” he said. “Out of shape, but OK.”

  1. shamu1the1whale - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:07 PM

    Great news! Datsyuk rocks

  2. charlieconway96 - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:17 PM

    I’d love to be whatever his version of “out of shape” is.

  3. muckleflugga - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:22 PM

    datsyuk is…

    the light, the beacon, the hope, the promise of everything that is good in hockey

    he is the most interesting man in hockey

    he is its salvation

  4. dearyxd - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:53 PM

    Mr. Hockey Jr.

  5. polegojim - Dec 9, 2013 at 7:19 PM

    Great news… Maybe he can give Weiss a Russian kick in the butt too OR… healthy scratch Weiss and let the kids who are performing… continue to perform.

  6. redwinger6 - Dec 9, 2013 at 8:16 PM

    Helford, you do know that Nyquist, Tatar, and Andersson didn’t play together while Datsyuk was out, right?

  7. sagnasty13 - Dec 10, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Actually Helford, Nyquist, Tatar, and Andersson will be playing together Tuesday against Florida for the first time. I can’t wait to see it either. Going to be an explosive line!! The Grand Rapids Red Wings Line! GO WINGS!!

    • dtownbeatdown - Dec 10, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      The are going to let the TAN line show!

      Should be fun to watch.

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