Datsyuk returns to Red Wings lineup on Friday Staff

4/3/2014 1:03:15 PM

Pavel Datsyuk will be back in the lineup on Friday when the Detroit Red Wings take on the Buffalo Sabres in their postseason drive.

"Looking forward to a game on Friday! I am in..." he Tweeted on Thursday afternoon. Entering Thursday's games, Detroit sits in the first Eastern Conference wild card playoff spot, four points up on the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Datsyuk hasn't played since Feb. 27 with an inflamed left knee. He participated in a full team practice on Tuesday and did not dress in the Wings' 3-2 comeback victory against the Boston Bruins on Wednesday.

"I'm happy to be back with the team," Datsyuk said earlier this week. "I need a little more time to pick up the pace, pick up everything.

"I can do full skates, lots of things that they do that I cannot do before, that's why I take three weeks (off)."