DETROIT — None of the injured players – Johan Franzen (concussion), Jonas Gustavsson (groin), Pavel Datsyuk (lower body), Darren Helm (groin), and Jonathan Ericsson (ribs) – will be back for Thursday’s game at New York against the Rangers.
“No possibility of getting anybody back,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “I’ve said this a number of times this year, enough to make me want to puke, is that I’m focused on the players that are here.”
Jimmy Howard said he’s playing after backing up Sunday due to a hip flexor.
“More so than anything the muscle itself just felt really fatigued, felt it needed a bit of a break,” Howard said. “Better to take one night off than to go out there and cause further harm and be out 2-3 weeks.”
Tomas Jurco will take Tomas Tatar’s spot in the lineup Thursday. Tatar is in Slovakia for his father’s funeral.
“He’s a big, talented guy who can really skate and he’s pushing for a job on our team,” Babcock said of Jurco. “So last time I thought he did a real good job and he gets another opportunity this time. It’s a good thing for hm. He’s just got to make sure that we don’t send him back.”