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<< Sports >>

NHL Hockey Team News

Wings get healthy, open playoffs against Flames

PHOTO BY JASON RZUCIDLO / AMERICAJR.com

From left to right: Christopher Illitch (President and CEO of Illitch Holdings, Inc.), Mike Babcock (Detroit Red Wings Head Coach), Ken Holland (Detroit Red Wings GM) and announcer / former Red Wing Mickey Redmond at the Detroit Economic Club last month.

by Andrew Poloni
poloni@americajr.com

The Red Wings are set to try to make another deep postseason run and win an eleventh Stanley Cup as they open the first round of the Western Conference playoffs Thursday against the Calgary Flames.

Detroit has dealt with health issues late in the season but seems to be in good shape heading into playoff time.

Wings’ center Henrik Zetterberg, who has been out with an inflamed disk since late February, was back in practice this week and is expected to return to his line with Pavel Datsyuk against the Flames.

Zetterberg’s return should provide an immediate offensive impact for Detroit. He led the team in regular season scoring with 33 goals and had 35 assists.

Datsyuk is the only Red Wing that had more points this season than Zetterberg, with 87.

Goaltender Dominik Hasek sat out the last two games of the season with a leg injury, but it is reported that he is 100 percent healthy and will start game one.

New comer Todd Bertuzzi has been out of practice this week with a neck injury, but Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Bertuzzi is expected to be on the ice for the Wings in game two of the series at the latest.

A healthy roster should put the Red Wings in position to take the opening series against Calgary – a team that stumbled late in the season into the playoffs barely securing the final eight seed.

Detroit finished the regular season tied with the Buffalo Sabres for an NHL high 113 points. The Wings are the top seed in the Western Conference and will have home ice advantage throughout the conference playoffs.

The series with Calgary begins Thursday night at Joe Louis Arena with another home game Sunday afternoon. The Wings then head to Calgary next week for games three and four on Tuesday and Thursday.

 

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