Red Wings expect captain back in lineup Saturday night against Panthers

Published On: Dec 28 2013 01:05:20 PM EST   Updated On: Dec 28 2013 01:41:18 PM EST

The Detroit Red Wings expect to have their captain back in the lineup when they visit the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Henrik Zetterberg is set to return after missing 11 games due to a herniated disk in his back. The 33-year-old Swede still leads the team with 30 points despite not playing since Dec. 1.

Detroit has struggled without Zetterberg, going 3-6-2 while being shut out twice in its last five games. Florida looks to snap a two-game skid during which it scored a total of three goals. The slide has followed a five-game winning streak that began with the second of two victories over the Red Wings this month.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN (Detroit, Florida)

ABOUT THE RED WINGS (17-13-9): In addition to Zetterberg, Detroit hopes to have Justin Abdelkader back in action Saturday. The left winger has been sidelined since suffering a concussion on Dec. 14 against Pittsburgh. One player definitely not ready to play is Johan Franzen, who still is suffering from concussion-like symptoms following a hit to the head on Dec. 15 versus Tampa Bay.

"I still get dizzy and headaches," he said. "It's motion-triggered. I can get through workouts fine, but if I try and play keepaway, I can't do that. If there's too much going on, I get dizzy, my vision gets blurry and stuff like that."

ABOUT THE PANTHERS (14-19-5): Tim Thomas is expected to start Saturday after missing six games with a groin injury. Thomas, who was activated from injured reserve on Tuesday, is 9-10-1 with a 2.75 goals-against average and .909 save percentage in 21 contests. Florida has allowed 11 goals over its last two games after yielding a total of eight during its five-game winning streak.


1. Detroit assigned C Riley Sheahan to Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League to make room for Zetterberg.

2. The Panthers recalled C Drew Shore and D Alex Petrovic from San Antonio of the AHL.

3. Red Wings G Jimmy Howard (knee) hopes to return Monday at Nashville.

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