Howard will start Saturday; Datsyuk and Modano status TBD

DETROIT — Jimmy Howard will start Saturday in Nashville after missing the last two games with a sprained left shoulder.

“I’m good to go,” Howard after practice. “Last night was just precautionary, I just got one more night of just letting it heal up and getting treatment on it. I felt good out there in practice, the stiffness is pretty much all gone and I’m looking forward to getting back out there.”

Pavel Datsyuk (lower-body injury) practiced again, on a line with Johan Franzen and Tomas Holmstrom, but his status for Saturday won’t be determined till after practice Friday.

Mike Modano was given the day off after tweaking his groin Wednesday. He didn’t complain about having the day off the ice.

“It was just something I felt as the game went on, the same deal I had a couple of days ago, Modano said. “Considering the type of day they were going to have today … you knew there was going to be a lot of skating. It was probably best to give it a little rest, get ready for (today).”

He added that he caught some grief from teammates about his timing.

“The comment was that it was something a 40-year-old would pull,” Modano laughed.

Babcock said he’s not sure if Modano would play this weekend, but Modano thinks he’ll be ready to play Saturday.

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