On the same night the Red Wings welcomed back Datsyuk, they lost another player when Valtteri Filppula was knocked out of the game with a lower-body injury.
"A little bump on his knee," Babcock said. "We're going to check him [Tuesday] and see where he's at."
It didn't take long for the Red Wings to find out Datsyuk, one of their stars, is willing and able to help.
"We know how good he is offensively and defensively, so it gives our team a boost to have a world-class player like him back," teammate Nicklas Lidstrom said. "It didn't look like he had missed 19 games.
"He makes things happen with the puck and when the other team has it, he never gives up. He'll work hard to get it back and that's why he leads the league in takeaways every year."
The Red Wings are 18-0-2 when leading after two periods, but barely held on for the latest such victory against the NHL's best team when trailing after two periods. ... New York's Chris Drury (left knee) missed his second straight game. ... Detroit's Tomas Holmstrom (hand injury) might be able to return to the lineup on Wednesday against Nashville. ... The Rangers haven't won at Joe Louis Arena since 1999.