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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 WSH 52 39 9 4 171 117 82
2 FLA 54 32 16 6 150 122 70
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 NYI 52 28 18 6 145 129 62
5 TBL 53 29 20 4 140 127 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 BOS 53 28 19 6 153 146 62
8 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
9 NJD 55 27 21 7 122 123 61
10 MTL 55 27 24 4 147 145 58
11 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 52 23 20 9 122 137 55
14 BUF 54 21 27 6 124 146 48
15 CBJ 55 21 28 6 137 170 48
16 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 52 18 20 26 38
H. Zetterberg 53 9 27 3 36
T. Tatar 52 16 17 -1 33
G. Nyquist 53 14 15 -2 29
P. Datsyuk 38 8 20 12 28
J. Abdelkader 53 14 13 -3 27
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 39 5 11 7 16
D. DeKeyser 49 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 20 10 4 .933 1.97
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89