Zetterberg could be back tonight for Game 4

Red Wings captain could be back for crucial Game 4 against Bruins

Headline Goes Here AP Photo/Elise Amendola

Detroit Red Wings center Henrik Zetterberg (40) shoots and scores against Boston Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask (40) as Bruins right wing Reilly Smith (18) defends, at left, in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Boston, Monday, Oct. 14, 2013.

DETROIT - The Detroit Red Wings say captain Henrik Zetterberg will be a game-time decision.

But according to a source of The Hockey News, Zetterberg definitely will return to the lineup Thursday night for Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena.

From The Hockey News:

"A source close to the Red Wings said Henrik Zetterberg has been cleared to play tonight, after missing the last 30 games (including playoffs) and all but one game of the Olympics with a back injury."

On Wednesday, after the team's morning skate, Zetterberg wouldn't say if he was definitely playing or definitely not playing. He told reporters he was taking it "day by day." Wednesday was his first "real practice," he said.

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Meanwhile, the Red Wings tweeted this Thursday morning:

@DetroitRedWings: UPDATE: Henrik Zetterberg has gone to see the doctors; he's a game-time decision #RedWings


So, he's a game-time decision, which is basically what he said he was on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old Swede was sidelined by back pain in Sochi after scoring a goal in the opening game. He had surgery in New York before the Olympic games ended.

His last appearance in Detroit's lineup was Feb. 8 in Tampa. He was leading the team with 48 points (16 goals, 32 assists) and is a plus-19 rating in 45 games.

Read back: Zetterberg not returning unless Wings make playoff run

At the end of March, Zetterberg said he didn't expect to be back in the lineup unless the Red Wings made a deep run in the playoffs.

"I want to play hockey again this year and obviously that would be sometime around playoffs," he said at the time.

Now, it looks like he could be back for a crucial Game 4 against the Bruins. If he's healthy, the Red Wings surely could use his experience, offensive power and strength with the puck.

It's unclear how much ice time he'd actually see.

The Bruins lead the series 2-1 after a 3-0 win Tuesday night in Detroit. Game 4 is 7:30 p.m. Thursday.

NOTES: Coach Mike Babcock said Todd Bertuzzi will be back in the lineup for Game 4 while Tomas Jurco will be a healthy scratch. He also said Daniel Alfredsson, who missed Game 3 with an upper-body injury, will miss Game 4, too, but should be back Saturday for Game 5.

Henrik Zetterberg (left) with teammate and fellow Swede Daniel Alfredsson.


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