The MVP finalist participated in the morning skate Thursday, then stayed on the ice afterward in an attempt to be ready to face the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Datsyuk said his status would be determined after the pregame skate and it looked as if he was getting ready to play, skating and stretching during warmups until there was 2:45 left on the pregame clock.
But Datsyuk was scratched from the lineup. When that was announced at Mellon Arena, Penguins fans cheered.
Datsyuk last played May 19, when he blocked a shot with his foot against the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
Detroit coach Mike Babcock inserted Kris Draper into the lineup and took out Justin Abdelkader, who scored in the first two games.