BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Wings trail the Bruins 2-1 in their first-round playoff series, but the Wings could be closer to welcoming back their captain than they initially believed.

Henrik Zetterberg skated harder on Wednesday than he had been in the past week, according to reports out of Detroit.

It was an indication that Zetterberg, who was initially believed to be aiming for a return to the lineup in the second round of the playoffs, may be much closer to hitting hte ice.

“It was the first real practice with the team and everything, with lines. So it felt good,” Zetterberg said after the skate, according to Chuck Pleiness.

Zetterberg will meet with team doctors, but there is a chance he could play as soon as Thursday night’s Game 4.

“I’ll still take it day by day,” Zetterberg said. “I have to do some skating. This was nice. That’s the problem with the playoffs — you don’t really have many practices and it’s tough to get game-like practices and moments. So today was a good day of that and hopefully we’ll get some more of those in here.”

Zetterberg, 33, has been out since February with a back injury that required him to cut short his Olympic trip and undergo surgery. He scored 16 goals and added 32 assists for 48 points in his 45 games played this season.

The Red Wings have struggled mightily thus far in the series, scoring just two goals in the three games played, but the return of Zetterberg could provide the much-needed spark Detroit needs to climb back onto the competitive level of the Bruins.



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