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Wings hold public scrimmage after naming Z captain

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 15, 2013 at 8:22 pm •  Published: January 15, 2013

Star Pavel Datsyuk did not play in the scrimmage after staying overseas for Sunday's KHL All-Star Game in Russia. Now back with the Red Wings, Datsyuk said he enjoyed a chance to play in his home country for a bit during the lockout.

"Of course it's long time don't play in Russia," Datsyuk said. "Lots of Russian friends, always welcome to home."

The announcement that Zetterberg would be captain came as little surprise. The 32-year-old has been an alternate captain for the Red Wings, and he had 22 goals and 47 assists last season.

When Zetterberg helped the Red Wings win the Stanley Cup in 2008, he earned the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP for his two-way play. He replaces retired defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom as captain.

"Of course it's a very special day," Zetterberg said. "It is special, and I'm glad the day is here, and we're back playing again. Looking forward to getting going on Saturday."

Zetterberg and Drew Miller both scored for the Red team. The two squads were made up of members of the Red Wings and Grand Rapids Griffins, the team's American Hockey League affiliate. Play seemed crisp enough, but it's hard to say how the product will look when the games count in a few days.

"The NHL's a fast, fast league, and the pace is going to fall off when you haven't played a bunch," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said. "If you've really worked hard on your conditioning, it shows, and if you haven't it shows."