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All signs point to Zetterberg playing for Red Wings in Game 4

Mike Richards, Henrik Zetterberg

FILE - In a Saturday, Jan. 11, 2014 file photo, Detroit Red Wings left wing Henrik Zetterberg, of Sweden, takes the puck as Los Angeles Kings center Mike Richards, left, dives it during the first period of an NHL hockey game, in Los Angeles. On Wednesday, March 26, 2014, Zetterberg to reporters for the first time since he had back surgery Feb 21, saying he is aiming to return after the playoffs begin April 16. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill, File)


The signs were pretty strong earlier on Thursday that Henrik Zetterberg would play for the Detroit Red Wings in Game 4, but after warm-ups, it seems almost certain. (This post will be updated if he decides not to very late in the process, though.)

If that doesn’t excite Red Wings fans enough in itself, consider who he’s lining up with:

Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk on the same line with Justin Abdelkader doing the dirty work and opening up space? The Boston Bruins have their hands full in Game 4.

Then again, so does Zetterberg, who may be targeted considering the rather worrisome back issues he must be dealing with. It’s a risk, but this is the playoffs (when players tend to roll the dice in the name of glory).

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins