Weiss gets first action for Red Wings in nearly a year

Chris McCosky
The Detroit News

Detroit — Johan Franzen was on the ice for pregame warm-ups Saturday, but it was just a tease. He suffered leg spasms Friday night and the Red Wings are saying he is day to day.

"Day to day for 10 days, right?" joked coach Mike Babcock.

Veteran Stephen Weiss took Franzen's spot in the lineup, his first action in nearly a full calendar year.

"He got better every day in camp," coach Mike Babcock said of Weiss, who missed most of last season with a sports hernia injury. "He's skated real well and competed real hard in practice every day waiting for his opportunity, like a good pro.

"Now he's got an opportunity."

Well, not much of one. He played 8:03, including two power-play shifts.

"It was awesome," Weiss said. "A lot more fun than watching, that's for sure."

With Franzen out, Justin Abdelkader was moved to the top line with Henrik Zetterberg and Gustav Nyquist.

Weiss started on the third line with Darren Helm and Andrej Nestrasil.

"He got an opportunity to play, not a ton," Babcock said. "But at least he got into the game. With Weiss, it's not going to happen overnight. You miss as much hockey as he has, it's going to take some time. But we are happy with that. We think he's going in the right direction."

Zetterberg said he didn't think Franzen would be out long.

"I don't think it's that bad," he said. "Hopefully he can be back soon. Obviously it's big loss for us …. But Weiss has been looking really good in practice; he skates real well. He missed a lot of time. It was good for us to see him out there and I think he played a good game."