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Draper returns to ice; Maltby sees specialist

Friday, 12.7.2007 / 2:35 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Draper returns to ice; Maltby sees specialist
DETROIT – The Wings received some good news and bad news Friday morning.

First the good news: center Kris Draper skated for the first time since he sprained his left knee in the Wings’ 5-3 win over Calgary on Nov. 27.

Draper skated with a fitted knee brace for nearly 20-minutes Friday morning. He’ll likely have to wear the brace for the foreseeable future.

“I skated a little bit, then did a couple of drills,” Draper said. “It was nice to get back out on the ice and it’s really a matter of getting comfortable with the brace.

“Hopefully now that I skated today I can skate every day. Just kind of get better and a little stronger.”

Getting used to wearing the knee brace will take some time, Draper said.

“That’s going to be an adjustment,” he said. “I’ve never had to rely on something like that, probably in the last 10-11 years. But the alternative isn’t good, so I realize that I have to put it on and I have to get used to it, and I have to deal with it.

“It’s basically the same brace that (Niklas Kronwall) wears. You see him skate and the agility that he has, he doesn’t have any issues with it, so it’s just a matter of time of getting comfortable with it.”

As long as he doesn’t experience any pain, the plan for Draper is to continue skating with the idea of him returning to practice by early next week.

 “I’m hoping if I can skate Saturday and Sunday that maybe I can have a practice on Tuesday,” said Draper, who has six goals and five assists in 24 games this season. “That would be ideal, but I have to see the doc tonight. The biggest thing is for me not being hesitant, not being cautious, and just going out there and skating the way I can skate.”

Now for the bad news: left wing Kirk Maltby is to see a specialist this afternoon for his sore lower back that will keep him out of his fourth straight game when the Wings host Minnesota tonight.

“It’s the status quo, unfortunately,” Maltby said. “It’s certain movements -- touching toes, getting out of the vehicle, that kind of thing. Rotation isn’t too bad, but to go out there and skate, I couldn’t do it. And obviously, taking hits or giving hits, there’s no way.”

Like Draper, Maltby was also injured in the first period of the Nov. 27 game against the Flames.

“I’m not 100 percent sure, but I think it happened on Drapes’ goal against Calgary,” Maltby said. “I think it was (Dion) Phaneuf kind of cross-checked me from behind. I got that whiplash sensation, and it got a little sore as the game went along, and it was the next day when it was really sore.”

Maltby skated Monday in Montreal, but experienced a set-up toward the end of the on-ice workout. Since then, he’s been relegated to off-ice work.

“When you don’t have an answer when you’re sore, it would be nice to know what direction that you’re going or what direction you need to be going so you can get back to where you need to be,” he said. “Hopefully, this guy today can give me answers.”

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
7 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
8 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
9 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89