Mike Modano had a big smile on his face this morning during the skate as he saw a lot of familiar faces and went to a very unfamiliar place _ the visitor's locker room at AAC.
``Yeah, first time I've been in there...strange,'' Modano said.
As for the game tonight: "Obviously, the nerves are a little high, otherwise felt real good, comfortable. Trying to approach it like any other game but obviously that's difficult to do. It'll probably be harder as the day moves along and it gets closer to game time. Hopefully, once it gets started, you relax and play the game.''
While Modano was entertaining a massive media grouping outside the Detroit locker room, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock walked by and jabbed Modano by saying he needed to wrap up the media session before the 7:30 p.m. game time.
Stars coach Marc Crawford said he expected it to be an emotional night _ and that's a good thing.
``They're human and they have to deal with human emotions,'' Crawford said of his team. ``But mostly it's a big night for Mike and he'll have to deal with his emotions.''
Stars players said they expect Modano to get a rousing cheer:
"I can't imagine there'll be a whole lot of (boos)," Stars captain Brenden Morrow said. "And I think if he scores tonight, that'll probably rival the amount of noise that goes off when we score. I think there are a lot of good memories from fans here, Dallas Stars fans with Mike. He didn't go on his own terms, so it's not like he shunned the team and then took off. So I think the reception will be pretty well-received for him."
Jamie Benn (concussion-like symptoms) had a good day of workouts, but Crawford said the earliest he will skate is Saturday, which means he will probably not play Saturday night against St. Louis.
It looks like Fabian Brunnstrom will get the scratch tonight. He stayed out extra after the skate with Jeff Woywitka. Krys Barch will probably play on a grinding line and the lines will look like this:
Jame Neal-Brad Richards-Loui Eriksson
Brenden Morrow-Mike Ribeiro-Adam Burish
Brian Sutherby-Steve Ott-Toby Peterson
Krys Barch-Tom Wandell-Brandon Segal
Nicklas Grossman-Stephane Robidas
Mark Fistric-Trevor Daley
Karlsi Skrastins-Matt Niskanen
Detroit will likely go with:
Pavel Datsyuk-Henrik Zetterberg-Tomas Holmstrom
Johan Franzen-Valtteri Filppula-Todd Bertuzzi
Jiri Hudler-Mike Modano-Daniel Cleary
Drew Miller-Darren Helm-Patrick Eaves
Nicklas Lidstrom-Brad Stuart
Niklas Kronwall-Doug Janik
Jakub Kindl-Ruslan Salei