Red Wings’ Zetterberg skates, Franzen rests

Henrik Zetterberg looks good to go.

The Detroit Red Wings seem confident Johan Franzen will be as

well when their second-round series starts sometime next week.

Zetterberg skated hard Friday, easily beating teammates when

they did laps around the rink, after missing the first round with

an injured left knee.

”I’m excited to be back,” he said.

Franzen didn’t skate with his teammates to rest his injured left

ankle.

”Not one bit concerned about that,” Detroit coach Mike Babcock

insisted. ”I don’t know when he’ll start to practice. We’ll give

him as much time as we can to make sure he’s feeling good.”

Time is on the Red Wings’ side because they earned about a week

off after sweeping the Phoenix Coyotes on Wednesday night. Detroit,

which will take Saturday and Sunday off, won’t start the next round

until both conferences’ series are done, and that can’t happen

earlier than Tuesday night.

Zetterberg, the team’s leading scorer during the regular season,

would have been able to play against Phoenix had a Game 5 been

necessary.

He seemed sharp in practice at Joe Louis Arena, pushing himself

enough to create a huge gap between himself and a group that

included Valtteri Filppula.

”That was a good sign,” Filppula said. ”He’s really fast when

he’s healthy.”

Franzen doesn’t rely as much on his speed, but the 6-foot-3,

218-pound forward with a strong shot and a knack for scoring in the

playoffs, is a key player for a team that hopes to hoist the

Stanley Cup for the fifth time since 1997.

He had a team-high 28 goals during the regular season and opened

this postseason with a goal and an assist, giving him at least a

point in 13 straight playoff games.

”I doubt he’ll have trouble starting the second round with

us,” Niklas Kronwall said. ”But I’m not a doctor or a

trainer.”

Despite missing two of its top scorers at times against the

Coyotes, Detroit averaged 4 1/2 goals in the brief series.