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The sun's up, so are Red Wings

Disappointment of triple OT loss won't bring Wings down

Wednesday, 06.4.2008 / 10:48 AM ET / News
By Lindsey Ungar  - DetroitRedWings.com Special Writer
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The sun\'s up, so are Red Wings
PITTSBURGH — Road sweet road?

The Red Wings failed to close out a series at home — again, this time just 35-seconds away from defeating the Penguins for the Stanley Cup.

Detroit hasn’t clinched a series at home this postseason. Maybe it’s nerves, maybe it’s pressure. Not since 2002, when the Wings beat the Carolina Hurricanes in the clinching Game 5 of the Cup finals, has Hockeytown witnessed the end-of-the-series handshakes.

However, the Red Wings didn’t seem as unhappy as the Joe Louis Arena crowd when the team talked to the media after arriving in Pittsburgh on Tuesday.

“I think the disappointment phase ends about 15 minutes when you're out of the room,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “For me it was when I got home, talked to my wife for a second — she was disappointed too.  Like I said, when you get up in the morning, the sun gets up, and so do we and we're up 3 2. Let's play.”

The Wings are not in panic mode. They obviously still have two more chances to win the Cup. And that made getting over Petr Sykora’s goal a little easier.

“Being your first opportunity, you're still in a great situation,” Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski said. “So you don't want to look past that.  So it's not that hard to move forward, because you still have an opportunity here.”

Still, being less than a minute away from that silvery prize must have crossed someone’s mind? The Cup was already out of its case, ready to be raised above Nicklas Lidstrom’s head.

“It’s nice to be close to it,” Babock said, smiling. “Be nicer to have it.”

After an optional skate, Babcock gave the team some time off during the day, considering the Wings played the equivalent of more than 2 ½ games on Monday night into Tuesday morning. They met after media availability to prep for Game 6.

In 2000, Rafalski played for the New Jersey Devils, who coincidentally lost Game 5 in triple overtime at home to the Dallas Stars before hoisting the Cup on the road in Game 6.

So what’s the key for a Red Wings replay of that?

“It just comes down to determination, refocusing and getting ready to play the next game,” Rafalski said.

Not as easy as it sounds in the unwelcoming confines of Mellon Arena, where Pittsburgh has lost just once — to Detroit in Game 3 — since Feb. 24.

But the Wings have put the almost-Cup win behind them. And they’re back at home — on the road.

“I think being on the road is a great thing,” Babcock said. “We've closed out every series on the road. As far as carry over from (almost winning) that, it's a lesson learned. They're good players. It won't happen again. Sometimes you need to be reminded.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80