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Wings surprised Lidstrom was a scratch

Tuesday, 05.26.2009 / 9:25 AM ET / News
By Larry Wigge  - Columnist
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Wings surprised Lidstrom was a scratch
The Detroit Red Wings were surprised that Nicklas Lidstrom was a Game 4 scratch.
DETROIT -- Sometimes the pain doesn't hit you until a few days later. Strange? No stranger than seeing Nicklas Lidstrom miss his first playoff game ever.

Lidstrom finished that game and looked good in practice Saturday, according to Chris Chelios.

"We went out to dinner Saturday night and I had no idea. He was in great spirits," Chelios said. "Then about 9:45 Sunday morning I got text message from the trainer telling me that I should be ready to play, because Nick might not be ready to go.

"I thought it was a joke, because Nick doesn't even miss practices unless he's told to stay away from the rink to get some rest by the coaching staff."

Lidstrom had played 228 consecutive playoff games since 1992, when he left Sweden for Detroit. Should he recover sufficiently, he could vault all the way to second on the NHL's all-time playoff games list.

That total of 228 is a club record for playoff games and ranks sixth all-time in the NHL behind only Chelios (264), Mark Messier (236), Claude Lemieux (234), Scott Stevens (233) and Guy Carbonneau (231).

In another odd turn, it was Chelios who got the call -- in more ways than one -- to play when it was learned that Lidstrom had a lower body injury that was believed to have happened midway through Game 3 Friday when Nick seemed to get his ankle twisted in a collision with Chicago's Dustin Byfuglien along the boards.

Said a surprised coach Mike Babcock, "I was in the cab on the way over here and I found out about Nick. All I can say now is I hope to see him on Wednesday. I was told it isn't a long-term injury."

No matter the rest of the defense came to Lidstrom's defense, limiting Chicago to just 28 shots while the forwards exploded in a 6-1 victory Sunday.

Fours are wild for Hossa:
In a game of oddities, here's another one.

Many were aware that Marian Hossa had scored only four goals in this year's playoffs for the Red Wings. Few were aware that those goals all came in Game 4's -- two in the first round against Columbus and two more in the next round against Anaheim.

But Hossa knew the facts before he once again added two goals in Game 4 of the Western Confernce Finals in Chicago.

Anomaly? You bet. But Hossa said he plans on doing something about it in Game 5 at Detroit on Wednesday as the Red Wings try to eliminate the Blackhawks and make it back to the Stanley Cup Finals for the second straight year.

"When you don't score that often, you realize that," Hossa said with a big grin on his face. "It's just funny, the fourth game in the series and two goals."

Then, the high-scoring winger and leading goal scorer on the Wings this season, added, "I'll try to stop that in the next game."

Shifting Wings: If Pavel Datsyuk returns to the lineup for the Red Wings in Game 5, then Valtteri Filppula will return to third-line duty with Jiri Hudler and Mikael Samuelsson. And what that means is more firepower for the Red Wings.

In case you didn't realize it, when we talk about defense leading to offense and transition being key in Detroit's attack, here's a number for you to chew on:

The Red Wings have won 48 consecutive playoff games in which they have scored four of more goals. The streak dates back to a 7-4 loss to Phoenix on April 24, 1998, in Game 2 of the first round.

Something else to keep your eyes on:  The Red Wings aren't proud of the fact that they haven't been able to keep the opposition off the scoreboard on the power play. That
dubious streak was extended to 13 consecutive games in Game 4,
extending a franchise record, when Chicago's only goal by Jonathan Toews came when the Hawks had a man advantage.


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
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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