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Welcome Back, Valtteri Filppula

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Welcome Back, Valtteri Filppula
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Valtteri Filppula has four points in his past four games.

COMMENTARY | Valtteri Filppula returned from a shoulder injury on Wednesday, March 13 and managed to score a goal in the Detroit Red Wings' 5-2 loss to the Calgary Flames.

Despite the loss, I was happy to see Filppula come back as if he hadn't missed any time. It can be hard for some guys to get back to their scoring ways once they've been out for an extended period of time. But Filppula didn't stop with one goal.

The center collected another goal Friday, March 15 in a 3-2 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers and picked up an assist Saturday, March 16 in a 5-2 win against the Vancouver Canucks.

He's been great on a line with Henrik Zetterberg and Damien Brunner, and it couldn't have come at a better time as Damien Brunner has been struggling.

Filppula is one of those guys that can disappear for stretches, but when he's on, he's a valuable asset.

I've always taken Filppula's skill for granted with the likes of Pavel Datsyuk and Zetterberg, but Filppula continues to remind me why he's such a great player.

Here are some other odds and ends from the past three games:

Red Wings break road power-play drought

Not only did Filppula score in his first game back from injury, but it was the team's first road power-play goal on the season. The Red Wings snapped a 0 for 37 drought.

With power-play goals against the Oilers and Canucks, the Red Wings have a three-game power-play goal streak.

The power play has been one of the biggest concerns for this team, and it's nice to see some consistency.

The best thing is the goals aren't coming the same way. Some are shots from the points and collecting rebounds, and others are working the puck down low to openings in the slot.

Good things will continue to happen for this power play if they get shots on net and look for rebounds.

Damien Brunner dropped to third line

During the Vancouver game, Brunner was moved to the third line with Daniel Cleary and Joakim Andersson, and Drew Miller was put on the second line with Datsyuk and Justin Abdelkader.

I liked this move by coach Mike Babcock because it shows that nobody is safe from being demoted if he isn't playing to his full potential.

I've spoken highly of Brunner ever since he's made his debut in the NHL. For the first 19 games, he was great. He even had his first four-point night against the Canucks back on February 24.

Since that four-point game, Brunner has four points (no goals) in 10 games. Playing on a line with Zetterberg should mean more production than four assists in 10 games.

His hot start may have been unexpected, but now Brunner has to be able to figure out how to make adjustments when the opposition has figured out how to stop him.

Darren Helm might return Wednesday

The best news I've heard in a long time: Darren Helm could play against the Minnesota Wild on Wednesday, March 20.

Helm has played in just one game this season, which was also against the Wild. He has been battling back issues throughout this shortened season.

Helm has been sorely missed and would not only help Babcock sort out his top two lines, but is a workhorse on the penalty kill.

Obviously, the Red Wings will want to use him sparingly Wednesday if he does play, but seeing No. 43 on the ice with the last month of games coming up will be a good sign as the Red Wings attempt to stay in the playoff hunt.

Tom Mitsos is a Michigan native who covers the Detroit Red Wings for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. He also is a high school sports reporter at MLive Media Group. You can follow Tom on Twitter @tom_mitsos.

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