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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  - 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."


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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