PITTSBURGH – Forward Mikael Samuelsson did not skate with the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday morning and that may open the door for veteran Kris Draper to return to the line-up for Game 3 of the Stanley Cup final against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
“It will be based on Samuelsson,” said coach Mike Babcock. “He didn’t take the morning skate so we’ll see what happens there.”
Draper has sat out the last four games – three with a suspected groin injury and the last one as a healthy scratch.
Babcock also said that while star centre Pavel Datsyuk is unlikely to play, he may be ready to return from a broken foot in Game 4 on Thursday night. Datsyuk has missed five games, but he has been skating of late.
“He had the best overnight experience he’s had,” said Babcock. “He seemed to have a big turnaround, so he was real optimistic today.
“I don’t assume that affects today’s game whatsoever, but it could really affect the following game.”
For the Penguins, there is a chance that winger Petr Sykora will be back in the lineup. Sykora, who has one assist in six post-season games, has been a healthy scratch for the last 11 games.
Coach Dan Bylsma said his lineup would be decided just before the game.
“We’re dealing with some bumps and bruises,” he said.