Pavel Datsyuk C DET 3 Months

Pavel Datsyuk's marvellous third period goal was all the Red Wings needed on Friday night, as they held on to beat the heavily favoured Bruins in Game 1 by a score of 1-0.

Datsyuk took a pass from Johan Franzen in the neutral zone, stickhandled his way through multiple Bruins just over the blueline and fired home a deadly wrister past Tukka Rask with just 3:01 to go in the game. The goal gave the Red Wings home ice advantage and a 1-0 series lead against Boston with Game 2 coming on Sunday.

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 3 Months

The Red Wing coach Mike Babcock will be very active in mixing up his lines but it seems likely that Pavel Datsyuk and Justin Abdekkader will play on the same unit against Boston.

The question will be whether Johan Franzen or Gustav Nyquist will be the third member of the unit. Nyquist has enjoyed success alongside Datsyuk but has also been effective on a kid's line with Riley Sheehan and Tomas Tatar. No matter how the Wings line up, Datsyuk, Franzen, Nyquist and Daniel Alfredsson should be the first four Detroit forwards called out in playoff pools.

Pavel Datsyuk C DET 4 Months

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 4 Months

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 4 Months

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 4 Months

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 4 Months

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 4 Months

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 4 Months

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 4 Months

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.