DETROIT – Star forward Pavel Datsyuk and veteran Kris Draper will not be in the lineup Saturday night when the defending-champion Detroit Red Wings take on Pittsburgh in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final.
Coach Mike Babcock confirmed that the two centres would sit out after both skated Saturday morning at Joe Louis Arena.
Datsyuk has a suspected broken foot while Draper has a groin injury.
Babcock said defencemen Nicklas Lidstrom and Jonathan Ericsson would return after missing the last two games of the Western Conference final with health problems. Lidstrom’s injury was undisclosed while Ericsson had his appendix removed.
Datsyuk did not look comfortable trying to make turns on his sore foot.
“When he first gets on the ice, his foot is stiff and it takes a while for him to get going,” said Babcock. “He’s tried a few things and it hasn’t responded.
“Our medical people are trying as hard as they can. He’ll be back as soon as he can – that’s all I can tell you.”