Babcock: Nestrasil has “earned the right to start today”; Weiss, Cleary heatlhy scratches; Kindl in over Lashoff

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ morning skate prior to their game tonight against the Boston Bruins at Joe Louis Arena.

Andrej Nestrasil will indeed make his NHL debut, skating on a line with Darren Helm and Gustav Nyquist.

“The good thing for me is it’s right after camp so I’ve played five games,” Nestrasil said. “I’m sure I’ll be nervous before the game, but it’s a little different when you get called up from the AHL and you don’t know the guys here. I’ve been here for a month and a half so I’m really familiar with the things we do here and I think I’ll be fine.”

Nestrasil was just informed he was playing Thursday morning.

“I slept like a baby,” Nestrasil smiled. “It doesn’t make me nervous that I’m playing tonight. If it’s something you expect maybe you’d be nervous so because maybe I didn’t expect it all I just didn’t have time to catchup with the whole thing.”

Wings coach Mike Babcock also has Nestrasil playing on the second power play unit.

“I kind of thought I was going to play based on what line I was practicing with so I was almost sure I would,” Nestrasil said. “It’s really good I am because so many people from back home texting me expecting me to play. I told them all the calm down, it’s day by day. I’m glad so know they call can watch it tonight.

“I felt like someone put glue in my hand two days ago and stuck my phone in there because I seriously the one day I had 100 percent battery and two hours it was all gone,” Nestrasil added. “Today, I’m turning off my phone to get a rest and get ready for the game.”

Nestrasil was impressive during training camp after totaling 16 goals and 20 assists in his first full season with Grand Rapids last year.

“You want to share that with the people you love and the people that helped you along the way,” Babcock said. “I thought Nesty played well. We’re in a situation without Pavel (Datsyuk) that we need another body. He played well and he earned his right to start today.”

Datsyuk (shoulder) will miss his first season opener since joining the Wings.

Datsyuk, who is on short-term injured reserve, separated his right shoulder on Sept. 22. He was slated to sidelined four weeks.

He began skating with the team this week, but has not taken part in many drills and has yet to be cleared for contact.

Jakub Kindl got the nod over Brian Lashoff on the blue line. He’ll be paired with Kyle Quincey.

Stephen Weiss and Daniel Cleary are both healthy scratches.


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