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Game 2: Red Wings not discouraged

Friday, 04.27.2007 / 12:00 AM ET / News
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Game 2: Red Wings not discouraged
By Larry Lage, Associated Press

DETROIT -- Mike Babcock hears people talk about the importance of staying at an even keel.

Particularly, if you lose the opener in a playoff series as the Red Wings did against the San Jose Sharks.

Babcock doesn't buy it.

"I'm in this business because there's real highs and real lows," Detroit's coach said Friday. "That's what makes it exciting."

"We need to create second and third chances by creating traffic around the net, and giving ourselves chances on rebounds," Kirk Maltby said.
That being said, Babcock insisted San Jose's 2-0 win in Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals didn't discourage him about his team's chances.

"I'm not jumping off any bridge," he said. "I think we have a real good team with a real good opportunity."

Detroit will play the Sharks on Saturday at home in Game 2 before the best-of-seven series shifts to San Jose.

The Sharks know their job is far from done.

"Their cages don't get rattled too easily," San Jose forward Bill Guerin said. "We have to realize it's only one game. We just have to stick with our game - blocking shots and not turning the puck over."

That was clearly a formula for success Thursday night.

The Sharks blocked 18 shots and had just five giveaways. The Wings only blocked one shot and turned the puck over 27 times.

"Detroit had the puck more than we did and obviously, we were determined to block shots," San Jose coach Ron Wilson said. "We didn't have many giveaways because we didn't have the puck."

Babcock shared a simple solution for San Jose's shot-blocking plan.

"If someone is in the shooting lane, you don't shoot it. You pass it around," he said. "We just have to see through the coverage, it's no different than a quarterback in football."

San Jose's Matt Carle scored on a one-timer midway through the first period in Game 1 and Mike Grier added a goal 24 seconds later on a slap shot from the slot.

Those are the types of quick-hitting plays the Sharks hope to generate against star goaltender Dominik Hasek.

"If he can't see it, he can't stop it," Wilson said.

The Wings plan to put more pressure on Evgeni Nabokov after his 34-save shutout.

"Hopefully, it's a lesson learned and we know what we're up against," Detroit forward Kirk Maltby said. "We need to create second and third chances by creating traffic around the net, and giving ourselves chances on rebounds."

The Wings missed Tomas Holmstrom's presence in front of the crease, particularly on their three power plays, and will be without him again. Holmstrom is out because he has blood on his eye and defenseman Brett Lebda also will be sidelined for Game 2 with an injured ankle. Both are day-to-day.

A simmering story in Detroit during the playoffs has been the startling sight of rows and rows of empty seats in upper-bowl sections, where every seat used to be filled with rabid fans.

The Red Wings haven't come close to selling out a game in any of their four playoff games this month and Thursday's announced crowd of 18,712 was the smallest this postseason.

Veteran Kris Draper said the Red Wings don't take it personally because they know fans have been hit hard by the state's sagging economy.

"You read the papers and you know the struggles that the automobile industry is going through," Draper said. "And anywhere you drive, you see a lot of houses for sale.

"When you look up in the stands, it's something I haven't seen before in the 14 years I've been here."

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 52 19 24 9 120 144 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89