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Datsyuk will sit-out team's scrimmage

Star center returned Monday from stint with KHL in Russia

Tuesday, 01.15.2013 / 3:12 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - DetroitRedWings.com
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Datsyuk will sit-out team\'s scrimmage
Pavel Datsyuk returned Monday from Russui where he played 31 games in the KHL this season. (Photo by Getty Images)

PLYMOUTH, Mich. – Red Wings coach Mike Babcock was elated to finally see the second half of the Euro-twins back in the fold Tuesday morning at Compuware Arena.

Pavel Datsyuk arrived in Detroit on Monday after he participated in the KHL’s All-Star weekend in Chelyabinsk, Russia.

“It's good to have him here,” said Babcock, who also said that the Russian star will not play in Tuesday night’s intra-squad scrimmage at the 3,500-seat arena in suburban Detroit.

It appears that Datsyuk is already in midseason form, though. He returned to Russia in September, where he waited out the NHL lockout, and produced 11 goals and 25 assists in 31 games with CSKA Moscow.

“We'll give him a day off today and a day off tomorrow,” Babcock said. “Then he should be back on body clock-wise and ready to go here.”

Babcock has indicated that he plans to reunite the Euro-twins – Datsyuk and newly minted captain Henrik Zetterberg – when the season opens in St. Louis on Saturday. The star forwards will be joined on the first line by Swiss import Damien Brunner.

Valtteri Filppula, who centered Zetterberg’s line throughout most of the 2011-12 season, will now center a line with Johan Franzen and Mikael Samuelsson.

“If we can have Fil be what he was last year and play in the middle, him and Mule be a tandem and Pav and Z be a tandem, I think we're a really good hockey team,” Babcock said. “We just didn't feel like last year was good for us. Last year I put them together at the start but between them and (Daniel Cleary) they were never going at the start, so we had to change and we never went back.”

As for guys like Datsyuk, Zetterberg and Brunner, who all spent the lockout playing in Europe, Babcock feels the Wings will have an early advantage once the season begins. But he also credited others who stayed in metro Detroit for their dedication to working out during the lockout.

“Obviously, it's great that Fil and Pav and Z were all playing,” Babcock said. “I think Bert looks great, Mule looks great. They look like they've done some serious training. Kronwall looks great. If you've done enough work there's no issue. If you haven't, we're all going to know.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80