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Red Team heads to Pittsburgh

Babcock settles on roster for preseason opener

Tuesday, 09.20.2011 / 4:30 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor |
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Red Team heads to Pittsburgh
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. – The Red Wings will travel to Pittsburgh and take on the Penguins in the exhibition opener for both clubs Wednesday at Consol Energy Center.

Wings coach Mike Babcock said that he'll play the Red Team in Pittsburgh with the following offensive lines and defensive pairings:

Danny ClearyPavel DatsyukJiri Hudler
Patrick EavesCory EmmertonFabian Brunnstrom
Drew Miller – Ryan Johnson – Jan Mursak
Tomas TatarChris ConnerTomas Holmstrom
Niklas KronwallBrad Stuart
Brendan Smith – Mike Commodore
Garnet Exelby – Logan Pyett
Jimmy Howard and Joey MacDonald

Howard is expected to play some Wednesday, despite a bruised bone in his left foot that he sustained in Saturday morning’s practice. He sat out Monday’s practice, but played in Tuesday’s scrimmage and made nine saves on 11 shots in 25 minutes.

“I tried testing it (Monday), but it was painful, just like it was Sunday when I battled through it,” Howard said. “Yesterday, they just decided to keep me off to keep the swelling down. … I hate having to miss time. Sometimes missing a day is good because it allows you to get healthy quicker.”

Even though he’s working through a sore hip flexor, Wings prospect Tomas Jurco felt good with his performance in Tuesday intra-squad scrimmage at Centre I.C.E. Arena.

“I always knew that playing up here would be fast and strong,” said Jurco, who was the Wings’ first second-round pick in last July’s amateur draft. “I would say that it’s what I thought – fast, strong, and it’s going to be even better in the exhibition games, so I’m really looking forward to it.”

In Tuesday’s scrimmage, Jurco played the right side on the White team’s fourth line with center Brent Raedeke and forward Francis Pare. The trio will skate in their first preseason game when the Wings face the Philadelphia Flyers Thursday night in London, Ontario.

Jurco was injured last week in a prospects camp game against Minnesota prospects. The injury forced him to miss two games. Even though he’s still bothered by the injury, he was happy with his performance Tuesday.

“For my age, I felt pretty good,” Jurco said. “I think I did my best, and I will try to get better.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @RooseBill

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