DETROIT – Pavel Datsyuk returned to the lineup after missing the last game with a lower-body injury. Todd Bertuzzi was a pre-game scratch and replaced by Jan Mursak.
Mursak has not played a game this season after suffering a broken ankle in the preseason. He just returned from a six-game conditioning stint in Grand Rapids.
“I was playing a lot there, getting back in hockey shape,” Mursak said. “I was just a little bit out of timing, deciding on when to pass or when to shoot. I had a lot of chances, but just didn’t produce much. When the chances are there I know sooner or later they’ll start going in.”
Mursak said he played nearly 20 minutes a game with the Griffins.
“The ankle feels good, no pain,” Mursak said. “Right after games (the ankle) isn’t really sore, the only thing I still have problems with is when I go on the plane. When we have a long plane ride it really swells up so we have to tape it before so that doesn’t happen. Other than that the ankle is feeling good like it should.”
Mursak started the game and played on a line with Darren Helm and Drew Miller.
“Anytime you’re a kid and you’ve been out a long time it’s tough, but in saying that he was a very bright spot in training camp and we knew he was going to be an important player for us,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “It hasn’t gone the way he wanted. We hope to get him rolling.”
Mursak knows an everyday spot in the lineup won’t be handed to him.
“I don’t know if he has to earn my trust, he’s got to earn his own trust,” Babcock said. “He’s back to square one. As long as they trust themselves I trust them. He just has to go out there and be confident.”