Red Wings will begin defence of Cup with veteran forward Dan Cleary

DETROIT – Detroit Red Wings forward Dan Cleary says he will be healthy enough to play in Game 1 of his club’s NHL playoff series against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Cleary said Wednesday he left practice the previous day with a lower-body injury.

Red Wings coach Mike Babcock also said Cleary would play Thursday night at home in the opening game of their first-round series against Columbus.

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Cleary scored 14 goals during the regular season and had at least 40 points for the third straight season in Detroit. The native of Carbonear, N.L., has 249 career points in 11 NHL seasons with Chicago, Edmonton, Phoenix and Detroit.