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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 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 54 31 18 5 153 135 67
4 DET 54 28 18 8 136 132 64
5 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
6 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 53 27 19 7 138 135 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 55 25 24 6 154 169 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 53 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 54 10 27 4 37
T. Tatar 53 16 17 0 33
G. Nyquist 54 14 16 0 30
P. Datsyuk 39 8 21 13 29
J. Abdelkader 54 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 40 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 50 7 8 13 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 21 10 4 .934 1.94
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89