Red Wings' Datsyuk will play Thursday night in Florida
FEB 06, 2014 1:24p ET
Datsyuk said after Wednesday's practice that he hoped he would be able to play in Thursday night's game in Florida.
After Thursday's morning skate, coach Mike Babcock told reporters in Florida that Datsyuk would play and Patrick Eaves would be on standby just in case.
Datsyuk has missed 14 games with a lower-body injury. The last game he played was the Winter Classic at Michigan Stadium.
Since Datsyuk is the captain of Team Russia, there's tremendous pressure on him to play in the Olympics.
Despite missing so much time, Datsyuk remains the team's fourth-leading scorer, with 15 goals and 17 assists in 32 games.
"We need Pav," goaltender Jimmy Howard said Wednesday. "He's one of our best players. He's a dynamic player, as well.
"When he's out there, he takes a lot of attention off some other players. I think that's going to be good for the other guys."
Howard is starting in goal against the Panthers.