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Datsyuk may return for Game 4, will play in Game 5

PITTSBURGH – The Detroit Red Wings not only expect to have Pavel Datsyuk back for the Stanley Cup final, there’s a very good chance he will suit up Thursday night for Game 4.

Datsyuk has missed the first three games of the Stanley Cup final and the past six with a foot injury he sustained during the Western Conference final, but a source close to the Wings said if Datsyuk doesn’t play in Game 4, he’ll definitely go in Game 5.

The Wings take to the ice at 2 p.m. EST Wednesday and Datsyuk will practise with the team. He is expected to be evaluated after that practice and the morning skate Thursday before a final decision is made. There is no doubt he is very close to getting back into the lineup.

Having Datsyuk would be an obvious boon to the Red Wings and would almost certainly take some of the defensive responsibility away from Henrik Zetterberg, who has been closely checking Sidney Crosby in this series.

Ken Campbell, author of the book Habs Heroes, is a senior writer for The Hockey News and a regular contributor to THN.com. His blog appears Wednesday and Fridays and his column, Campbell's Cuts, appears Mondays.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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