Babcock keep Nyquist on top line; fourth line logging minutes through two games

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings’ practice Monday at Joe Louis Arena.

It appears as if coach Mike Babcock is going with the same group he’s played with the first two games of the season as Stephen Weiss, Daniel Cleary and Pavel Datsyuk (shoulder) all wore gray jerseys.

Weiss and Cleary were healthy scratches the first two games, while Datsyuk is still coming back from injury.

Babcock did keep Gustav Nyquist on the top line along with Henrik Zetterberg and Johan Franzen.

That moved Justin Abdelkader down with Darren Helm and Andrej Nestrasil.

A lot of the talk after practice was how well the fourth line of Drew Miller-Luke Glendening-Joakim Andersson have done thus far.

Miller and Glendening have after 14 minutes of ice time a game, while Andersson is just under 13.

“I think we’ve played both games good,” Andersson said. “We’re a hardworking line, play smart and good defensively. We worked hard down low in their end and some success there, we didn’t score, well Glenny scored there without us. We played well.”

That line was elevated to check Anaheim’s second line in Saturday’s 3-2 loss at Louis Arena.

“(Babcock) probably thought we’d play against him so we’re happy we got a lot of minutes there even though we started on fourth line,” Andersson said.

“You get out there, try and have as much O-zone time as you can and put pressure on their D,” Miller said. “I thought our lined played well (against Anaheim) and on top of that I think our penalty kill has been doing good.

“Even looking at last year there are nights where we’re matched up defensively against one of the top lines so you’re going to play more minutes,” Miller continued. “It’s just whatever the circumstances call for, but most teams four line minutes are 6-7 whereas here it’s like 9-10.”


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