According to a source of The Hockey News, Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg will return to the lineup tonight for Game 4 of their series against Boston.
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.
The source said Zetterberg will likely play only “limited minutes,” somewhere in the range of 10 to 12, but even that will be a massive upgrade for a Red Wings team that is reeling with injuries and has been outscored by the Bruins 7-1 in the past two games.
Zetterberg had returned to practice earlier this week and seemed to be steadily increasing his work load and skating intensity. Yesterday, he called practice a “good step” but said he still needed to jump some hurdles before drawing back into the lineup.
“The good thing is [the decision] is not in my corner, I’ve got to be cleared by the doctor,” Zetterberg said, per NHL.com. “I’ve got to do all those exams. I’m just preparing myself to get into better and better shape, try and get as much game-like situations as I can in practice. Today was a good day of that.
“As soon as I get the go-ahead that I’m healed and the disc is good, then I’ll think about coming back.”
Getting Zetterberg back would, obviously, be a huge boon for the Wings. The 33-year-old Swede had 48 points in 45 games prior to getting hurt, and could spark a Detroit power play that’s gone 0-for-9 over the first three games of the series.