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Wings will be ready even if Nick, Pav aren't

Tuesday, 05.26.2009 / 3:59 PM ET / News
By Brian Compton  - NHL.com Staff Writer
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Wings will be ready even if Nick, Pav aren\'t
DETROIT -- The team that skated to a 6-1 victory in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals in Chicago Sunday was the same squad that took the ice for practice Tuesday morning at Joe Louis Arena.

Just one day before they attempt to earn a return trip to the Stanley Cup finals, the Red Wings practiced without Norris Trophy candidate Nicklas Lidstrom and Hart Trophy finalist Pavel Datsyuk. Lidstrom was a surprise scratch on Sunday with a lower-body injury, while Datsyuk hasn’t played since taking a shot on the foot in Game 2 one week ago.

Detroit coach Mike Babcock is still hopeful that one or both will be back in the lineup Wednesday night (7:30 p.m. EDT, VERSUS, CBS, RDS), when the Red Wings will try to send the Blackhawks home for the summer.

"They didn't practice," Babcock said. "Both guys are feeling better. We'll see what goes on in the skate (Wednesday) ... see if they're available for that skate."

With or without Lidstrom and Datsyuk, the Wings are one confident bunch. They showed that Sunday when they dominated the host Blackhawks in front of a stunned capacity crowd at the United Center. While they knew Datsyuk wasn't going to play, some didn't find out about Lidstrom until arriving at the rink.

Still, they moved right along.

"I think Game 4 was as well as we could have played," said Detroit goalie Chris Osgood, who was forced to miss the third period due to dehydration. "Nick's a great player. Would we love to have him? Of course we would. Same with Pav. But we never rely strictly on one or two guys to win games or win series'. We're not putting pressure on any single one guy or putting pressure on Nick and Pav to hurry back."

Even though they have a 3-1 series lead, Babcock assured the media on Tuesday that neither will be given an extra day off unless it's an absolute necessity. Veteran forward Kris Draper has already been ruled out for Game 5 with a groin injury.

"If they're ready, they're playing," Babcock said.

But if they're not, the Wings intend on being ready -- just like they were for Game 4.

"I don't think there was any doubt we could win before that game," Detroit defenseman Brian Rafalski said. "We have a lot of confidence in this room. We've gone through a lot of different scenarios. That was just another stone in the road that you have to overcome.

"We played a solid game all-around. The forwards did a great job, defense and goaltending ... everybody played a solid game. We were poised and we executed very well. All the guys in this room can execute when our minds are into it and we're doing what we're supposed to be doing."

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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59