Published April 18, 2011
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- While his short stint on the ice didn't look too promising Monday, Detroit forward Johan Franzen is apparently ready to go for the Red Wings when they face the Coyotes in Game 3 of their Western Conference quarterfinal series.
Wearing a visor to cover the 23 stitches to his face suffered in a collision with Shane Doan early in Game 2, Franzen's stay on the Jobbing.com Arena ice lasted only a few minutes and he appeared frustrated with the results as he leaned on the boards near his bench before leaving the ice before drill began.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock said he expects his lineup to remain unchanged from Game 2, although he said he will have a few extra players dress and take part in the pregame skate.
"That's my plan at this point," he said.
"His face seems to be fine,'' Babcock said. "It's a tough play, he got high-sticked in the face by (Eric) Belanger on the way down. His head hit the boards, which probably for most people that would hurt.
"We're lucky he's the Mule and he should be fine.''
Franzen returned to Game 2 midway through the second period without any facial protection and finished the game. If Franzen can't go, veteran Mike Modano would be the likely replacement and the top three lines would be shuffled for the Red Wings, who will again be without center Henrik Zetterberg (sprained left knee).
Zetterberg skated again Monday and is making progress, although he won't play in Phoenix and isn't expected until at least Game 6 in this series, if there is one.
For the Coyotes, defenseman Ed Jovanovski took part in the morning skate and is good to go after suffering an upper-body injury in the second period of Game 2. Jovanovski also skated without a caged mask over his face for the first time since returning injury on April 1 and is contemplating playing without it for the first time as well.
Jovanovski underwent orbital bone surgery in late February and missed 20 games before returning with the mask, which he has found to be restrictive and uncomfortable.
"It's always tough finding pucks down low when you've got this barbed wire in front of your face," Jovanovski said. "But you also have to be smart too. Anytime you go on the ice there is a risk you take. I'll talk to the trainers and see what they say."