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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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  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
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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