Pavel Datsyuk C DET 9 Days

Pavel Datsyuk scored for the second straight game in his third contest since returning to the lineup, as the Red Wings continued to roll with a 4-2 win over Buffalo on Tuesday night.

Datsyuk's goal was an empty netter, but the Russian superstar played almost three minutes more than he had in his first two games back since his month-long absence. That is a good sign for the Red Wings with the playoffs on the horizon. Datsyuk has 35 points in 42 games this year.

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 10 Days

Pavel Datsyuk played in back-to-back games in his return to the lineup last week.

"I feel OK," he said. "So, now I just try to pick up more of the pace, every day. I feel better. It's a long way, and I have a tough season." Datsyuk scored a goal against Montreal on Saturday after he returned on Friday versus Buffalo. It's being speculated that he could require surgery on his knee in the off-season, but he's in the lineup now and is trying to help the Red Wings secure a playoff spot.

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 12 Days

Pavel Datsyuk scored for the Red Wings in their 5-3 loss to the Canadiens on Saturday night.

It only took two games for the world-class center to get back on track after a long layoff because of a knee injury. Datsyuk has 16 goals and 34 points this season. Luke Glendening scored the first goal of his career, while Niklas Kronwall, who also had a helper, got the other. The blueliner notched a game-high seven shots on goal as well. Johan Franzen amassed two assists.

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 13 Days

Pavel Datsyuk (knee) will not play on the Red Wings' top line in his return on Friday.

Instead Datsyuk will play alongside Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader. That's probably partially an effort to ease Datsyuk into the lineup and partially a desire to keep the Red Wings' hot scoring lines intact for now. "It's not about Pavel Datsyuk tonight, it's about the Red Wings," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. "He's got to fit in."

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 14 Days

Pavel Datsyuk is ready to return to the lineup from his knee problem.

He will be back in the fold when Detroit plays Buffalo at home on Friday night. Datsyuk skated alongside Darren Helm and Justin Abdelkader in Thursday's practice and declared himself fit to play after the session. He hasn't played since Feb. 27 so there may be some rust, but there isn't much time left in the season so activate him immediately.

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 15 Days

Pavel Datsyuk won't return from his knee injury on Wednesday night.

"I will play as soon as possible, but I need be careful," Datsyuk said after announcing that he wouldn't play against Boston. He is considered to be close to getting back into the lineup, but it's still unclear when that will happen. Datsyuk hasn't played since Feb. 27.

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 16 Days

Pavel Datsyuk (knee) might be able to return on Wednesday.

Datsyuk was shut down on March 5 to help with the inflammation in his knee. He tested out the injury by practicing with the Red Wings on Tuesday and the results were very encouraging. Detroit is already in a very good position in the battle for a Wild Card spot, but getting back Datsyuk now would still be huge, especially seeing as it would give him some time to get back up to speed before the playoffs.

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 16 Days

Pavel Datsyuk (knee) is expected to fully participate in Tuesday's practice.

There's still no word on his status and a timetable for his return remains unclear. A clearer picture may surface after Tuesday's session. Datsyuk hasn't played since Feb. 27 because of an inflamed knee.

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 19 Days

Don't look for Pavel Datsyuk to return to action next week.

Although he is progressing from a knee injury he is not slated to skate with his Red Wing teammates in a real practice until Tuesday. That doesn't bode well for a return in the next seven days. Check back with us next week for further updates on Datsyuk's recovery.

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 21 Days

Pavel Datsyuk (knee) skated on Wednesday in an optional practice.

Coach Mike Babcock didn't manage the session, but trainer Piet van Zant said "he looks like he could play" when referring to Datsyuk. Babcock was far more pessimistic saying, "When I see him in the lineup, I'll believe it." There's no timetable in place for his return.