Pavel Datsyuk Returns for the Stretch Run

Updated: February 7, 2011 at 4:25 pm by Alexander Monaghan

Tonight, Pavel Datsyuk will return to the lineup as his Detroit Red Wings host the New York Rangers.

After missing 19 games with a hand injury, the 32-year-old pivot will help the Red Wings at both ends of the ice as they struggle to keep pucks out of the net and more recently struggle putting it in– as the team looks to bounce back from back-to-back shutout losses.

While absent, the Red Wings turned to their other star pivot, Henrik Zetterberg, to carry them as he filled in on the top line between Todd Bertuzzi and Johan Franzen. Apparently their chemistry looked so good that Franzen and Bertuzzi will remain with Zetterberg while the returning Datsyuk will have to make do with Jiri Hudler and Danny Cleary. By no means do these line combinations look permanent as the team probably prefers to ease their injured player back into the lineup.

Without Datsyuk, the team went 9-7-2, remaining in first place of the Central Division. Considering they will get back their MVP today and a useful veteran in Tomas Holmstrom later this week, the Red Wings seem primed to go on yet another playoff run.

If you own Datsyuk, activate him today and stick him right into your lineup. Over his career he scored two goals and five points over seven games against the Rangers, mostly against Henrik Lundqvist. Tonight he faces Martin Biron.

Henrik Zetterberg