DETROIT — Brian Rafalski did not make the trip to Buffalo, suffering from back spasms. He will rejoin the team in Los Angeles. The spasms began in the first period Thursday against Dallas.
“We were able to keep it somewhat loose, just trying to rest it to make sure it doesn’t get any worse,” he said. “It’s not that bad.”
Filppula is expected to play.
“I feel good,” he said Friday. “Hopefully it feels in the morning, that’s always the biggest thing, how it feels the next morning.”
Johan Franzen will play tonight, but will miss Monday’s game against the Kings. His wife is due to give birth today.
“It (Buffalo) is pretty close, so there’s a chance to get back if something happens,” Franzen said. “I’m not risking going to California. Have the baby first and then I’m go out there.”
He will rejoin the team and play Wednesday in Anaheim.
Ruslan Salei’s and Chris Osgood’s wives are both due to deliver babies next month.
Darren Helm didn’t practice due to a sore foot. Helm, who expects to play tonight, sustained the injury after blocking a shot on the penalty kill Thursday.
Joey MacDonald will start in net against the Sabres.