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Victories aren't important in these games. And coach Mike Babcock isn't worried about his team's conditioning.

What Babcock will look for Monday night in Pittsburgh and Tuesday in Chicago, as the Red Wings open the exhibition season, is players fighting for jobs.

"Whether they're good enough, or not," said Babcock. "Most guys came into camp in real good shape.

"We'll just watch them. It might not be the same teams but probably the same guys in our first four games and we'll go from there. There's a good opportunity for them."

The group heading to Pittsburgh went through a typical morning skate, while the other that is staying behind had a full-length practice.

"We had a good practice," Babcock said. "Let's get out there and play and see what they can do."

Back to juniors

The Red Wings' roster stands at 55 after the team returned forwards Tyler Bertuzzi, Zach Nastasiuk and Dominic Turgeon, and defensemen Marc McNulty and Mitchell Wheaton, to their junior teams.

The Red Wings also released forwards Blake Clarke, Hayden Hodgson, Darby Llewellyn, Brandon Robinson and Jerome Verrier, defenseman Ty Stanton and goalie Lucas Peressini.

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