Gameday Thread: San Jose Sharks host the Detroit Red Wings; Pavel Datsyuk returns for Detroit

The San Jose Sharks will look to build on a strong effort against the Nashville Predators and continue their climb into the Western Conference standings when they host the Detroit Red Wings tonight.

Antti Niemi is expected to be in net tonight for San Jose according to David Pollak of Working The Corners, while Jimmy Howard will be in net for Detroit according to Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press.

In other news, the Red Wings will be getting Pavel Datsyuk back after an eleven game layoff. The Red Wings have struggled mightily without going Datyuk, going 3-7-1 without him as well as 1-5-0 in their last six games. As fans (and opposing teams) across the League know all too well at this point, Datsyuk's inclusion into the lineup gives his team a chance to win every single night.

Johan Franzen and Nicklas Lidstrom will be out tonight for the Red Wings, giving them a much thinner blueline than the one they usually ice. With Martin Havlat back in the lineup the Sharks will look to take advantage of that matchup by rolling three lines hard and wearing down Detroit.

Puck drops at 7:37 PM.