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Maltby for Game 3?

Thursday, 05.21.2009 / 12:08 PM ET / News
By John McGourty
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Maltby for Game 3?
DETROIT – Mike Babcock hinted Tuesday night, after the Game 2, 3-2 overtime victory against Chicago, that he might return Kirk Maltby to the lineup when the teams meet Friday night at United Center. Most likely, that would mean Justin Abdelkader will sit. But Babcock ducked questions Wednesday when asked about possible lineup changes.

"No, I'll just avoid that until (Thursday)," he said.

Maltby said he's been hitting the weights and the stationery bike to stay sharp. He also said he watches the games from the dressing room. It's too stressful to be around people when he's not playing.

"It doesn't mean you have to like it, but you still have to be professional about it and go about your business as far as being ready," Maltby said. "I've been just as much a cheerleader for the guys when they're playing, regardless of whether I've been in or out of the lineup. So, it's a team effort and everyone is going to be counted on sooner or later. Whether you're in or out, it's up to you to contribute any way you can."

Although Helm and Abdelkader are getting the ice time that might go to Maltby, the veteran is thinking of the Red Wings first, Draper said.

"He's sitting by Helm and Abdelkader and he makes sure he talks to those guys," Draper said. "When he gets in the lineup, he's going to be prepared to go. He's going to be working hard."


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
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