DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ morning skate prior to Game 3 against the Boston Bruins tonight at Joe Louis Arena.
Joakim Andersson is in the lineup for Daniel Alfredsson, whose back is bothering him again.
“These are the games that you want to play,” Andersson said. “There are a lot of games in the regular season and that’s fun (too), but these are the games that you really want to be part of.”
Alfredsson has missed a number of practices in the last few weeks due to the issue with his back. He has no points through the first two games of the series and no shots on goal.
When Pavel Datsyuk returned to the lineup from knee inflammation, Andersson was a healthy scratch over five of the last six games of the regular season. He last played in the regular season finale against the St. Louis Blues.
Andersson, who had eight goals and nine assists, was a minus-11 in 65 regular season games this year.
“I lost my spot here late in the season after a couple of injuries and not playing great but I’m ready to go,” Andersson said. “It’s going to be fun to play again.
“I’ve just got to play my game, so be smart in all three zones and get some pucks to the net, be good on the penalty kill, be good in the lanes and be in front of the net when the puck gets there,” Andersson added.
In 14 career playoff games, Andersson has one goal and four assists.
He’ll start on a line with Darren Helm and Tomas Jurco.
Andersson has missed 12 games this season due to injury, six with a broken left foot and another six with a hip flexor.
Andersson will aid in the Wings’ penalty kill.
Boston has scored twice with the man advantage on five chances.
“Andersson can really help our penalty kill,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We thought both specialty teams were average last game. Andersson can help our penalty kill, he’s a good faceoff guy, he’s a big body and he knows how to play. I don’t know whether he’s going to play the whole game with Helmer and Jurco, we’ll move (David) Legwand there and maybe play Andy with (Luke Glendening) and (Drew Miller), we’ll just see how it goes.”
Andersson however can’t help the Wings’ power play, which has yet to find the back of the net in six opportunities.
“You shouldn’t give up easy access to your blue line and then when you put it in you should be all over them,” Babcock said. “That’s what they did. You can solve the problem, just win the faceoff, get shooting and get it back. That would be the first thing. The second thing is we’ve got to have a better plan and execution on our power play. We’ve gone through it in nauseam. The biggest thing is we got to execute.”
Jakub Kindl will take Alfredsson’s spot on the blue line on the second power play unit.
“Our first power play breakout we came out no pressure and we passed it to the boards,” Babcock said. “And then you start getting rattled. Forget all that. Let’s get some swagger back, let’s get going, let’s enter and let’s attack. But why not win a faceoff and get going. But I thought (Boston) did a real good job. I don’t know which part it is, was it them or us? We thought we were bad at it, so let’s split the difference.”