–G Thomas McCollum was assigned to Grand Rapids (AHL) following Wednesday’s game. It wasn’t because he allowed three goals on eight shots in his NHL debut, however. It’s because Jimmy Howard is ready to return for Saturday’s game in Nashville.
–D Ruslan Salei was a healthy scratch for the second time in three games. He once had a stranglehold on the sixth spot on defense, but now he’s battling rookie Jakub Kindl for the spot as the playoffs approach. Salei has lacked consistency.
–LW Johan Franzen had two assists Wednesday but continues to struggle to find the net. He has just one goal in his last 22 games, since his five-goal outburst in Ottawa on Feb. 2.
–G Chris Osgood (surgery on Jan. 11 for a sports hernia) was placed on long-term injured reserve on Wednesday. He is eligible to return on April 8.
–C Pavel Datsyuk has missed six games with a lower-body injury but expects to return on Saturday.
–G Jimmy Howard suffered a sprained left shoulder on Saturday but expects to return on Saturday.
–Nicklas Lidstrom, Brad Stuart
–Jonathan Ericsson, Niklas Kronwall
–Jakub Kindl, Brian Rafalski
–LW Jiri Hudler, C Henrik Zetterberg, RW Dan Cleary
–LW Johan Franzen, C Valtteri Filppula, RW Todd Bertuzzi
–LW Tomas Holmstrom, C Mike Modano, RW Justin Abdelkader
–LW Drew Miller, C Darren Helm, RW Patrick Eaves
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