Johan Franzen, Todd Bertuzzi

Banged up Red Wings get Johan Franzen back tonight against Chicago

As a season goes along, nagging injuries can be some of the most annoying to deal with. They’re bad enough to keep a player out of the lineup for a couple games at a time, but not bad enough so they put a player on the shelf for a while. The Red Wings have had a few of these to deal with of late and tonight they get one of their big scorers back.

Johan Franzen will be back in the Detroit lineup tonight after declaring himself healthy enough to go. Meanwhile, Todd Bertuzzi will be back in there as well after he returned on Saturday night against Toronto. Bertuzzi scored an empty net goal in the Wings win over the Leafs.

One guy that won’t be back yet is Pavel Datsyuk as he’s still day-to-day with a lower body injury. Tonight will be his fifth straight game out of the lineup and don’t expect Detroit to try and hurry him back as having him healthy for the playoffs is far more important.

Also, Joey MacDonald will start tonight with Jimmy Howard out of it after being hurt against Toronto. Former first round pick Thomas McCollum will be backing up MacDonald tonight after being recalled from the AHL. Luckily for Detroit, the news on Howard isn’t as bad as it was first feared. Howard did skate in practice this morning but did not take any shots. The Wings officially say his injury is a sprained shoulder and he’s out day-to-day.

Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

“Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: