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Alfredsson is likely to play against Sabres

The forward missed Wednesday's win over Boston with sore lower back

Friday, 04.4.2014 / 1:21 PM ET / News
By Andrea Nelson  - Editorial Assistant | DetroitRedWings.com
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Alfredsson is likely to play against Sabres

Daniel Alfredsson is expected to return Friday against Buffalo after missing one game with a lower back injury.  (Photo by Getty Images)

DETROIT - The Red Wings are likely to see more than one familiar face return to the lineup Friday.

Daniel Alfredsson, who missed Wednesday’s game against Boston due to a lower back injury, is expected to play when Detroit hosts Buffalo.

Coach Mike Babcock said the forward’s status will be a game-time decision.

“He skated this morning,” Babcock said. “He’ll come back this afternoon and we’ll see how he is.”

Before Friday’s morning skate, Alfredsson hadn’t skated since Detroit’s 3-2 victory over Tampa Bay Sunday. The forward’s back injury is the same issue that kept him out for six games dating from Jan. 11 – Jan. 20.

If he plays against Buffalo, Alfredsson will return to the lineup alongside center Pavel Datsyuk, who has missed the past 16 games with a knee injury.

“He’s a world class player, I expect him to play good,” Babcock said of Datsyuk, who will skate on a line with Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader. “We’ll see how he plays and we’ll play him accordingly. We have him on the power play. We have him on a line. We’ll play the game and watch and see what happens.”

The addition of the two veterans is likely to give a young and confident Detroit team an extra boost with just six games remaining in the regular season.

“We're feeling good about ourselves,” said center Joakim Andersson. “We're in a good spot in the standings. We've got to make sure to win some more games to keep the position we have. Once we know we've got into the playoffs then we will really feel good about ourselves.”

Despite their growing confidence, Andersson knows the Wings can’t afford to overlook any other teams at this point in the season. That is especially true against the Sabres, who enter The Joe a dangerous opponent despite their 21-46-9 record.


“Those teams are hard to play,” Andersson said. “They know they've been out of a playoff spot for a long time, so they have some young guys who are trying out. They work hard and they are hard to play against. It's the same as Edmonton as those teams.”

Follow Andrea Nelson on Twitter @Nelson_Andrea

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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