The Red Wings took Monday off to rest and recover from demanding travel and expect to be at least one body healthier by their next game.

General manager Ken Holland said Monday that he expects forward Damien Brunner to play Thursday, when the Wings host the San Jose Sharks.

Brunner has missed three games because of a sore hip flexor he said had been bothering him for several games before he last played April 1. His goal that night was his first in 16 games, but he's still second on the team with 11 tallies.

With Brunner's return on the horizon, the Red Wings shipped Riley Sheahan back to Grand Rapids on Monday.