Franzen returns, moved to Detroit’s second line tonight

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The Detroit Red Wings received some good news as they ready to face the bumbling Buffalo Sabres on Sunday.

The good news: Johan Franzen is set to return, according to the Detroit News.

Almost as good news: Sliding “The Mule” in the lineup won’t kick out any part of a top Red Wings line that has been pretty hot lately.

Rather than dislodging one of Justin Abdelkader, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg from a trio that’s been very productive lately, Franzen will be part of a second line that includes Gustav Nyquist and Darren Helm, the Detroit News reports.

Then again, “The Mule” hopes he doesn’t mess that up, either.

“They have tons of speed, so they can help me with that,” Franzen joked to the Detroit News. “I just hope Nyquist stays hot. I hope I’m not going to cool him off.”

Franzen, 34, scored two goals in the Oct. 17 contest in which he got injured, so he’s coming off a two-goal game much like Nyquist.

As much as top players have come through for Detroit, Franzen’s struggled with injuries and up-and-down play lately. The Red Wings could be that much more dangerous if he can stay healthy and approach his prime form.