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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
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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  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
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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