Red Wings' Lidstrom plans to play Game 1

Detroit Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom plans to return to the lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final on Saturday (CBC,, 7:30 p.m. ET).

Leads all defencemen with 13 playoff points

For a change, the Detroit Red Wings received encouraging news from the infirmary.

Nicklas Lidstrom revealed Thursday that he plans to return to the lineup for Game 1 of the Stanley Cup final versus the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (CBC,, 7:30 p.m. ET).

The Red Wings captain is nursing an undisclosed lower body injury that shelved him for two games, including Wednesday's series-clinching 2-1 overtime victory over the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 5 of the Western Conference final.

"I saw Lidstrom today [and] he is planning on playing Saturday night," Red Wings general manager Holland told ESPN. "That is what he told me.

"He skated today, he said he felt OK. Another 48 hours, he expects to feel better, so we will see."

Lidstrom, a six-time Norris Trophy winner, leads all defencemen with 13 playoff points, including four goals.

He had 13 points last spring, when he became the first European-born captain to hoist the Stanley Cup.

Jonathan Ericsson is listed as day-to-day following an emergency appendectomy, which forced him to miss Wednesday's clincher.

"He was at the rink today," Holland said. "He was feeling a little tender from surgery.

"[Andreas] Lilja had, basically, the same surgery earlier in the year, had it on a Wednesday and played Saturday in Nashville. But our trainer said everybody's body reacts a little differently and heals a little differently, so we're going to see how Ericsson feels Saturday morning."

Lilja (concussion) and Tomas Kopecky (fractured cheekbone) remain sidelined, but Kris Draper (groin strain) skated Thursday and, though doubtful to play Game 1, could return later in the series.

"He just wants to make sure when he comes back that he is 100 per cent," Holland said.

Pavel Datsyuk, a finalist for the Hart Trophy, has been shelved three games with a foot injury and, according to Holland, is "going to be more of a game-t

With files from The Associated Press