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Birthday 'doesn't get any better' for Draper

Wings' center hit birthday trifecta on Game 1 of Stanley Cup finals

Saturday, 05.24.2008 / 12:29 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Birthday \'doesn\'t get any better\' for Draper
DETROIT – The Red Wings’ self-appointed crown prince of birthday celebrations turned
Draper had three teeth loosened on this play when he scored a first-period goal in Game 6 against Dallas.
37-years-old on Saturday.

Known for blasting teammates in the face with a shaving cream pie on their big days, center Kris Draper managed to avoid a foamy face wash from the Red Wings after Saturday’s morning skate before Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals.

Maybe his teammates were more focused on the task at hand – beating the Pittsburgh Penguins at Joe Louis Arena – or perhaps it was the three loose bottom teeth in Draper’s head that prevented him from incurring the wrath.

“There’s a statute (of limitations),” Kirk Maltby said. “We have a few days to get him.”

Nicknamed the "Birthday Bandit" by teammates, Draper is now sporting braces on his lower teeth, hardware he’s worn since Game 6 against Dallas when he scored a goal on a deflected puck off his lower jaw. It took six stitches to close the cut to his chin.

Draper has victimized such teammates as Jiri Hudler, Darren McCarty, Henrik Zetterberg, Chris Osgood and Dan Cleary.

Fortunately, Draper's shenanigans has never gone awry, though Cleary didn't suffer through sneezing bout caused by an allergic reaction the the shaving cream.

With or without the locker room ritual on Saturday, Draper had to be the happiest player in the Red Wings’ locker room on Saturday morning. And why not?

For Draper, Saturday is the perfect trifecta: he's playing in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup finals –  on his birthday – and his newborn daughter, Kamryn Rose, came home from the hospital for the first time.

Ask if playing Game 1, on his birthday, was the best present he could imagine, Draper said, “I would have to say that this one is tough to beat. Playing in the Stanley Cup finals and bringing my daughter home this morning, I mean, it doesn’t get any better than that. This is something that I’ll certainly always remember.”

Kamryn Rose was born on Thursday, measuring in at eight pounds, 13 ounces and 21 inches.

While Draper is pretty certain that this is the first time that he’s ever played hockey on his birthday, one thing is crystal clear.

“The best gift that I got when I was a kid was probably one of those Big Wheels,” said Draper who has three goals and an assist in these playoffs. “I was pretty pumped when I got that. That was probably my last big birthday present.”

But a Wings’ win in Game 1 tonight would be a bigger deal.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80