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Franzen returns to lineup vs. Florida

Andersson to return Tuesday in Philadelphia

Sunday, 01.26.2014 / 3:48 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Franzen returns to lineup vs. Florida
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Johan Franzen left the game Sunday following a second-period hit to the head by Lightning defenseman Radko Gudas. (Photo by Dave Reginek/Detroit Red Wings)

DETROIT - After missing the past 16 games with a head injury, forward Johan Franzen will return to Detroit’s lineup Sunday when the Red Wings host the Florida Panthers.

“He can really shoot the puck,” coach Mike Babcock said. “Any time you come back from an injury, I don’t know how you’re going to respond. I mean, Helmer’s an example of that. I don’t know what to expect from the Mule. We’re just going to play him and see how it goes.”

Franzen suffered a concussion after taking a hit to the head by Tampa Bay defenseman Radko Guda in a 3-0 loss to the Lightning on Dec. 15. Franzen will be the fourth player to return from injury in Detroit’s last four games.

“Obviously it’s an important thing for us,” Babcock said. “We need all hands on deck if we’re going to be successful. I think these kids have given us some energy. What it does is it gives some of our veteran guys for example who are sitting out a chance to freshen up, which doesn’t kill anybody either. Those kids have brought us good energy.”

To make room for Franzen’s return, veteran forward Mikael Samuelsson was assign to the club's minor-league affiliate and forward Daniel Cleary is a healthy scratch against Florida.

While Babcock didn’t have an update on when goaltender Jimmy Howard will return, he is confident that center Joakim Andersson will be in the lineup when the Red Wings travel to Philadelphia Tuesday.

“Andersson will be in next game,” Babcock said. “We wanted him, but we weren’t allowed.”

Sunday’s game against the Panthers will conclude Detroit’s successful five-game home stand, as they have won three of their last four games at The Joe. Florida currently holds a 2-1 record against the Red Wings this season, but Detroit was victorious in the last meeting between the two clubs, earning a 4-3 victory in Sunrise, FLA., on Dec. 28.

“Size speed, they move the puck well from the back end,” Babcock said of the Panthers. “(Tim) Thomas gives them a chance in net. I really am impressed with what they’ve done draft-wise. They’re big down the middle, hard to play against, and they roll around the offensive zone. To me, they’re a pretty good hockey club.”

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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