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UPDATED: Samuelsson "game time decision" for Game 3


Early reports out of Pittsburgh have Mikael Samuelsson missing practice and Kris Draper working on a line with Darren Helm and Dan Cleary.

From Bruce MacLeod/Macomb Daily:

Mikael Samuelsson wasn't on the ice this morning. Kris Draper was practicing as though he was going to play. Here are the lines they worked out of ...



EJ Hradek of NHL Live was reporting that it's an illness keeping Samuelsson out of practice this morning.

Kneejerk reaction: I like this move for Detroit for the same reason I liked the idea of Draper potentially replacing Ville Leino. Drapes adds a physical presence that will be needed, especially if Henrik Zetterberg can't be covering Sidney Crosby at all times. Plus, Drapes is fantastic on the face off dot.

Keep checking back, as we'll update the post as more comes in.

UPDATED: Helene St. James/Detroit Free Press confirmed that Samuelsson missed the morning skate, being held out for what is being described as an "undisclosed injury." Here's what Mike Babcock had to say about the situation, according to St. James:

"Don't know if he'll play tonight," coach Mike Babcock said when asked whether center Kris Draper will re-enter the lineup. "It will be based on Samuelsson. Samuelsson didn't take the morning skate, so we'll see what happens there."

Also of note from St. James, it looks as if Pavel Datsyuk has made some progress, and could be ready as early as Game 4:

"I guess he had his best overnight experience that he's had," Babcock said. "And he seemed to have a big turnaround. So he was real optimistic here today. I don't assume that affects today's game whatsoever, but it could really affect the following game."