Detroit – With Pittsburgh in town, Trevor Daley had to flash back for a moment to his time with the Penguins.
Daley spent two seasons with the Penguins – and won Stanley Cups both years – 2015-16 and 2016-17.
“It’s hard not to,” said Daley, of thinking about those two playoff runs. “It was a great run. They’re playing well now, too, so you can’t reminisce too much.”
Daley was scheduled to return to the lineup Friday night after missing the last four games with an injury.
Injuries have plagued the veteran defenseman for the last two seasons, which has bothered Daley as much as the Wings’ losing.
“Losing, dealing with the injuries for the last two years – it’s not ideal,” Daley said. “But there’s an opportunity now and you have to run with it.”
Daley, 36, has been limited to 22 games this season, with no goals and one assist. He only played in 44 games last season, after appearing in 77 his first season with the Wings.
Daley is in the final year of a $9.5 million, three-year free-agent contract he signed with the Wings.
“Trevor has been a real good defensemen in this league, a real good piece of the Pittsburgh team that won the Cups recently,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “He’s a good skating defenseman who gets the puck out of your end and plays with moxie and confidence.
“It’s been real hard, when you’ve had as many injuries as he’s faced, and you get older. It’s real hard, he’s creeping up there, but he still has good hockey left in him.
“But he has to stay healthy.”
Blashill has been encouraged by the way Daley has looked in practice, the mobility he’s showing, and the poise on the ice.
“We’re hoping he can get through this next stretch and stay healthy,” Blashill said. “He’s looked good in practice in terms of the jump in his step.”
Prospect Berggren out
It’s just not the Red Wings who have been dealing with injuries this season – so have their prospects.
Forward Jonatan Berggren had shoulder surgery Friday, according to his Swedish team Skelleftea.
Berggren was a 2018 second-round draft pick who was limited last season with back injuries.
Berggren only played in 24 games this season in Sweden, with 12 points (two goals, 10 assists). Berggren played in seven games for Sweden in the recent world junior championships, with five points (one goal, four assists).
The Wings trumpeted Berggren as a dynamic two-way forward, something along the lines of Nashville’s Viktor Arvidsson, but staying on the ice has become a difficult thing to do.
There is no timetable for a return to action for Berggren.
With Jimmy Howard expected to get the start Friday, goaltender Calvin Pickard was likely to get the start Saturday against Florida. It would be Pickard's second start for the Wings.
Goaltender Jonathan Bernier (lower body) isn't going to return before next week's All-Star break, said Blashill.
... Defenseman Jonathan Ericsson (facial injury) is practicing, skating regularly, and is close to returning. Ericsson hasn't played since Dec. 15, when he broke his nose.
... Dylan Larkin's next goal will be the 100th of his career. Larkin (23 years, 5 months) would be just the sixth Red Wings player in the last 40 years to score 100 goals prior to age 24 and the youngest to do so since Steve Yzerman (21 years, 8 months).
... Valtteri Filppula is six games from 1,000 games in his career.
Panthers at Red Wings
Faceoff: 7 p.m. Saturday, Little Caesars Arena
TV/radio: FSD/97.1 FM
Outlook: The Panthers (25-16-5) are in the thick of the playoff chase and have won three consecutive games to strengthen their position. ... They have the fifth-best power play (24.3 percent) in the NHL. ... LW Jonathan Huberdeau (44 assists, 62 points) and C Aleksander Barkov (50 points) lead the offensive attack, while goalie Sergei Bobrovsky (16-12-4, 3.29 GAA, .896 SVS) hasn't completely solved the goaltending issue yet as a high-priced free-agent signing.