Wings hope to have second line playing together Friday against Maple Leafs

DETROIT – Quick update from the Detroit Red Wings practice Thursday at Joe Louis Arena.

It looks like the team will have its second forward unit – Daniel Alfredsson, Stephen Weiss, Johan Franzen – playing together its first preseason game of the year.

“I’m hoping so, but I can’t guarantee anything,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It’s all based on health.”

Alfredsson, who has played just one preseason game, has been sidelined of late with a groin.

“I would love to play a couple more,” Alfredsson said. “But it is what it is and you got to be smart, especially now when you have the time but I’m hoping to play Friday and get a game in here before we start for real.”

Franzen missed some time with a hip flexor.

“We’re looking to get just get the first one,” Weiss said. “It is what it is this time of the year, guys go down with stuff and they work other guys into the lineup and kind of work with what you’ve got.

“For me it’s been kind of tough cause I’ve had new guys every night and working with that has been a bit of a challenge, but hopefully tomorrow we can that line together and try to at least get one game in before we get going for real here,” Weiss added.

Babcock would love to dress an “NHL lineup” for Friday’s home preseason game against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

“When you play eight exhibition games, your lineup is spread out big time,” Babcock said. “You have to just to keep guys alive. Obviously we dressed a pretty good lineup there in Boston, that happened because a few guys got dinged and we had to move a few guys around. Since that time I’ve had full intention to … Pittsburgh came here with an NHL team and wanted to play an NHL team. And they got here, maybe they got something out of it, but they would have got way more out of it had they played against an NHL team.

“I don’t know what to do about that,” Babcock continued. “We can play two less exhibition games and we can have more guys in the lineup or we can continue to do what we’ve done and that’s the way it is.”

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