Detroit Red Wings: Valtteri Filppula Out, Johan Franzen to Return vs. L.A. Kings
Franzen has been dealing with a hip injury that has limited him to 12 games this season. Filppula has a sprained shoulder and probably won’t play Thursday against the San Jose Sharks either, according to Ansar Khan of MLive.com.
Franzen has three goals and six assists for nine points in 12 games and Filppula has four goals and six assists for 10 points in 19 games.
Defensemen Kyle Quincey (ankle) and Brendan Smith (shoulder) also appear poised to return, although a final decision will be made after the morning skate, according to MLive.com.
The Red Wings have dealt with a significant number of injuries this season. Todd Bertuzzi (back), Darren Helm (back), Mikael Samuelsson (finger) and Carlo Colaiacovo (shoulder) are all on injured reserved at this time.
With less depth, Detroit has had to rely heavily on its top two lines to produce offense. Fortunately for the Wings, captain Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk and Damien Brunner have remained healthy, missing just a single game between the three of them.
Zetterberg leads the team with 25 points, Datsyuk has eight goals and 22 points and Brunner has a team-best 10 goals. These three will once again need to be in fine form for the Wings to have an opportunity to beat the defending Stanley Cup champions.
The Wings and Kings first meeting on February 10 resulted in a 3-2 victory for Detroit. The Red Wings were up 2-1 with less than a minute to play when Alec Martinez scored with an extra attacker on the ice to even the score. However, Jonathan Ericsson kept the game from going to overtime with a slap shot from the point that slipped through Jonathan Quick with just five seconds left on the clock.
Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Brunner combined for four points and Jimmy Howard was brilliant, making 38 saves in the win.
Detroit and L.A. have both performed well heading into Wednesday’s rematch. The Red Wings shutout the Nashville Predators 4-0 Saturday and dismantled the Vancouver Canucks 8-3 on Sunday. The Kings, meanwhile, have won four straight and are 7-3 in their last 10 games.
Puck drop is set for 10 p.m. ET Wednesday, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
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