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DeKeyser could return Saturday

Holland sees the end of the tunnel as injured players return to lineup

Thursday, 12.19.2013 / 2:13 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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DeKeyser could return Saturday

Danny DeKeyser
Defense  - DET
Goals: 2 | Assists: 7 | Pts: 9
Shots: 27 | +/-: 5
DETROIT – There’s a light at the end of the injury tunnel for the Red Wings.

Eight players are currently sidelined with injuries, but a few of them may be back in the lineup as early as Saturday when Detroit travels to Toronto, beginning with defenseman Danny DeKeyser.

DeKeyser has been out for five weeks with a separated shoulder, and as his range of motion and strength continue to improve, he’s itching to get back on the ice.

“I feel great,” DeKeyser said. “I mean some stuff is going to come back to me when I start playing as far as maybe being in game shape and that kind of thing but skating well and moving the puck well, I’m shooting well so I feel really good.”

The defenseman will know more about the date of his return when he meets with team doctors prior to tonight’s game against the Calgary Flames at Joe Louis Arena.

“DeKeyser is close,” Red Wings general manager Ken Holland said. “I don’t know if he’s playing Saturday, Monday or the 28th.”

DeKeyser, 23, is hoping for one of the former options.

“Yeah, Toronto on Saturday and Monday Islanders I think yeah so hopefully get into one of those we’ll see,” he said.

Holland also gave the following medical updates on the other wounded Wings:

Henrik Zetterberg – He skated with the team this morning and is expected to return from his lower back injury next Saturday against the Florida Panthers. Detroit’s captain has missed eight games with the injury.

Holland said Zetterberg is coming along “very good.”

“He’ll be ready to go the 28th.”

Justin Abdelkader
Left Wing  - DET
Goals: 3 | Assists: 10 | Pts: 13
Shots: 72 | +/-: 3
Justin Abdelkader – He skated the last two days after sustaining a concussion from an illegal hit to the head by Pittsburgh defenseman Deryk Engelland, who received a five-game suspension from the league.

“Feel good so far, had a little bit of a skate, a bag skate, so that all went well,” Abdelkader said following Thursday’s practice. “Hopefully keep progressing, hopefully be able to play before the break, but we’ll see.”

The forward is symptom-free after experiencing headaches and dizziness for two days after the hit, and Holland expects him to return before Christmas break.

“Abby possibly Saturday or Monday, 28th for sure,” Holland said.

Gustav Nyquist– He is taking it one day at a time after suffering a groin injury Sunday in a 3-0 loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“Nyquist is day to day, he’s getting better,” Holland said. “We’ll see how he feels Saturday morning.”

Jimmy Howard – He skated mildly before the team’s morning skate Thursday, and is expected to return to the lineup during the week leading up to the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor. The goaltender sprained his left MCL in practice on Dec. 11. He last played in a 3-2 shootout loss at Florida.

“He had his pads on a little bit (today),” Holland said. “I wouldn’t rule out on our road trip to Florida-Nashville. … Even if he’s ready to go we won’t play him on the 28th because he’s going to need some practice time. But I would think the 30th, the Winter Classic, the 4th in Dallas, that week in there, he’ll be in the net, barring a setback.”

Johan Franzen
Center  - DET
Goals: 9 | Assists: 13 | Pts: 22
Shots: 78 | +/-: 7
Johan Franzen – He will be out until after Christmas with a concussion suffered from a collision with Tampa Bay defenseman Radko Gudas last Sunday.

Stephen Weiss – His groin injury resurfaced when the center returned to South Florida for the first time since signing with the Red Wings last July. He will see a specialist in Philadelphia on Friday to see if the injury requires surgery.

“Going tomorrow to see a specialist,” Holland said. “In the last month he had groin issues. … I’m assuming the issues he has now probably surfaced a month ago.”

Darren Helm – He has been skating with the Red Wings since suffering a shoulder injury against Philadelphia on Dec. 4. Howver, the Wings’ center missed Thursday’s morning skate with the flu.

SCHEDULE

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AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
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 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
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