Datsyuk expected to play Friday

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Pavel Datsyuk is expected to make his Red Wings season debut Friday versus San Jose.

“I believe 13 is playing tomorrow,” Detroit coach Jeff Blashill said today.

Datsyuk has missed the Wings’ first 15 games while recovering from offseason ankle surgery. The 37-year-old will likely start by playing the wing on the top line, centered by Henrik Zetterberg.

The Wings went an acceptable 8-6-1 in Datsyuk’s absence, but they required excellent goaltending to do it. Detroit has been outshot by an average of 32.4 to 25.3, the worst differential in the league.

We’ll see tomorrow if one of the greatest two-way forwards in NHL history can do anything about that.