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Fourth Line Shuffle

Monday, 10.24.2011 / 6:12 PM ET
By Bill Roose - Managing Editor | / The Wheel Deal
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The Wheel Deal
Fourth Line Shuffle

The Red Wings returned to the ice Monday afternoon for the first time since taking a 7-1 loss, their first of the season, on the chin in Washington Saturday night. The Wings practiced for nearly 45-minutes in preparation for Tuesday’s game against the Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.

Before the team left for the airport Monday, coach Mike Babcock said that he wasn’t quite sure what his fourth forward line will look like.

“I'll decide tomorrow,” he said.

However, if the line combinations from Monday’s practice are any indication, the Wings’ coach may go with Drew Miller at center, and Patrick Eaves and Tomas Holmstrom on the wings.

That would leave forward Fabian Brunnstrom and rookie center Cory Emmerton has healthy scratches. It would be the first time this season that Emmerton, who has a goal and an assist with a +1 rating, would miss a game. 

Other absenses for Tuesday's game are forward Jan Mursak (ankle), defenseman Mike Commodore (knee) and goalie Jimmy Howard, whose wife, Rachel, delivered the couple's first child Sunday. Mursak will likely be out until after the Christmas holiday, but Commodore hopes to be ready, if called upon, this weekend.

For the third time this month, the Wings will back on back-to-back night when they host San Jose this Friday, and play in Minnesota Saturday evening.


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