Todd Bertuzzi slips the puck past Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson for a first-period goal. (Photos by David Guralnick / Detroit News)
Detroit — Johan Franzen was back in familiar territory for Wednesday’s game against the Senators:
Between Todd Bertuzzi and Daniel Alfredsson.
“It’s fun, you’re more involved, get more choices when you get the puck,” said Franzen, before Wednesday’s 6-1 loss to Ottawa. “You’re stuck on the boards when you’re on the wing.”
Franzen played 15 minutes, 30 seconds on 21 shifts, with no shots on net, although he did win seven of nine faceoffs.
A forward for the majority of his career with the Red Wings. Franzen has switched to center on occasion when Wings coach Mike Babcock shuffled lines, as he’s done the past two games.
Franzen handled himself well Monday against Sharks center Joe Thornton after finding out that day he was moving back to the middle.
“I was a little worried, playing against the hottest team in the league, it could be bad,” Franzen said. “But it was a good first game.”
Franzen’s line has size and goal-scoring ability, so the potential for success is there.
“This gives us a good 1-2 punch,” Babcock said.
Another hit to Kronwall
The puck just keeps bouncing the wrong way when it comes to Red Wings defenseman Niklas Kronwall.
Returning to the lineup after missing the last two games because of a mild concussion, Kronwall took a puck to his mouth during a penalty-killing drill Wednesday morning and needed stitches.
“The puck came off my blade,” said Kronwall, sporting a bloody cut near his lip.
Just in case, the Red Wings called up defenseman Xavier Ouellet from Grand Rapids, but Kronwall was in the lineup, playing 21:36, going minus-1, and getting an assisting on Todd Bertuzzi’s power-play goal.
The crowd around Red Wings forward Daniel Alfredsson grew during Wednesday’s morning skate, resembling a playoff scrum.
All to get the former Senator’s take on playing the team he left for the Red Wings.
All the while, some reporters couldn’t help but joke with former Panthers forward Stephen Weiss, asking about how he’ll feel the first time he faces Florida.
“I don’t (expect the same type of media crush),” he said.
Weiss , who went scoreless in 12:45 with two shots on net, is more focused on getting on track offensively (two goals, no assists in 11 games).
“Play hockey, handle the puck, have fun, and relax, and everything else will come,” said Weiss
Forward Darren Helm (groin) participated in the morning skate but his return to the lineup won’t happen until next week. Tests showed no groin tear in his groin.