SAN JOSE -- The Sharks will have both Tommy Wingels and Tyler Kennedy back in the lineup Thursday night when the rival Detroit Red Wings make their only appearance of the season at SAP Center.

But the team won't have defenseman Matt Irwin in the lineup after he suffered an upper body injury in Tuesday's 3-2 loss in Nashville.

Wingels had missed the last five games recovering from an upper body injury while Kennedy had missed four battling the flu.

"They look good and ready to go," said coach Todd McLellan, whose injury-plagued team still has five forwards on the injured list. "That's a nice thing to have them back, and now they have to produce."

Kennedy in particular has struggled this season with only three goals in 39 games since being acquired in the off-season from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"Tyler coming back from the flu, hopefully his energy level is where it needs to be, but he is an energizing type player," McLellan said. "Maybe this little break due to illness will reset his season and get him going."

Kennedy, who appeared to be slotted on the third line with Bracken Kearns and Andrew Desjardin, agreed this was a chance to get his season back on track with key players such as Logan Couture and Tomas Hertl unable to play.

"Whenever guys are out of the lineup you get an opportunity to get better and get a little more ice time," Kennedy said. "Obviously, I've got to embrace it and take the challenge."


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Wingels was skating alongside Patrick Marleau and Matt Nieto on a makeshift second line and he, too, was glad to be back in action.

"It's good to be back. You want to be in the lineup to help the team and I'm able to do it," he said.

The Sharks recalled defenseman Matt Tennyson from Worcester, but he is not expected to play against Detroit. Instead, Scott Hannan will be back in the lineup after missing the past two games as a healthy scratch.

  • Detroit coach Mike Babcock will also be behind the Team Canada bench at the Sochi Olympics, and he cited three Sharks who did not make the cut in talking about how difficult the selection process was.