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Mule, Sammy could play vs. Chicago

Franzen, Samuelsson have been cleared to play

Saturday, 03.30.2013 / 7:28 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Mule, Sammy could play vs. Chicago

Johan Franzen
Right Wing - DET
GOALS: 7 | ASST: 11 | PTS: 18
SOG: 73 | +/-: 9
DETROIT – The Red Wings could get a pair of veteran forwards back in the lineup in time for their nationally televised game against the Chicago Blackhawks in a special Easter Sunday matinee at Joe Louis Arena.

Veteran forwards Johan Franzen (lower body) and Mikael Samuelsson (finger) have been cleared to play, but coach Mike Babcock will wait until Sunday morning before making a decision on the lineup, he said.

Franzen was hurt sometime during the second period of Thursday’s 2-0 loss at San Jose. He did not return Thursday, and was listed as day to day. Meanwhile, Samuelsson has appeared in just three games this season after he suffered a groin injury during the mini training camp in mid-January. He played in Minnesota on Feb. 17 only to suffer a non-dislocated break of the left index finger during the morning skate at Nashville on Feb. 19.

If he plays Sunday, Samuelsson will be making his home debut at The Joe.

“Great news on Mule, obviously, we were concerned coming out of San Jose,” general manager Ken Holland told the media Saturday afternoon. “Samuelsson we felt was going to play tomorrow. Really he was cleared to play on Tuesday or Wednesday and it’s all conditioning, so he said he feels pretty good.”

Before both forwards can be inserted into the 23-man roster, a move will be needed, which will likely be Gustav Nyquist, who will be returned to Grand Rapids.

“Just want to wake up tomorrow morning and make sure that nothing’s changed with Franzen and nothing’s changed with Samuelsson,” Holland added.

Franzen has seven goals and 11 assists with a plus-9 rating in 27 games. Samuelsson had one assist and was a minus-2 before he suffered a relapse on the groin injury in the second game of the season, in Columbus on Jan. 21.

The Red Wings are also inching closer to see the day that Darren Helm and Todd Bertuzzi may be back in the lineup. Both players, who have been sidelined by debilitating lower back pain, skated again with the team on Saturday, though Helm’s remains more cautious and did not skate for the entire hour.

“I just saw all of the MRIs and all of that, and they were explaining it all to me, and it sounds like things are going in a positive direction for him,” Babcock said. “But we’ve been hearing that for a long time, so when he starts practicing every day and has no side-effects, we’ll know something good’s happened.”

As for Bertuzzi, the Wings’ coach was a little more optimistic.

“Bert came on the trip and got himself a little bit of sun, so he’s looking good,” Babcock said. “He’s skating better. Feeling good.”

Follow Bill Roose on Twitter | @Bill_Roose

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STANDINGS

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
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80