No Datsyuk, no Draper for Game 2
Once again, Pavel Datsyuk (foot) and Kris Draper (groin) will not dress for Game 2, replaced by Ville Leino and Justin Abdelkader.
Datsyuk was seen noticeably limping out Joe Louis Arena after Detroit's series-opening 3-1 victory Saturday night and there were fears Datsyuk might have regressed in his rehabilitation. When he didn't make an appearance at Sunday's optional skate, those fears intensified.
But Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Sunday that there was no need to worry.
"They did a ton of work on him yesterday," Babcock said. "My son said to me after the game, 'Dad, Pav can hardly walk.' I said, 'Yeah, but if you worked out as hard as he does all day long to try to get back, you could hardly walk either.' So, let's not read into that. But there's no chance for him today."
The urgency for Datsyuk to get back was alleviated somewhat by the effectiveness of Detroit's fourth line, a unit featuring Kirk Maltby, Leino and Abdelkader. That unit played a very strong third period, including a goal by Abdelkader, his first playoff -- as well as first career -- goal.
"That line was excellent," Babcock said. "They spent some time in the offensive zone."
Maltby was especially effective being the disruptive force that is so fundamental to his game. By the end of the game, he had Pittsburgh superstar Sidney Crosby hacking and whacking at him. Afterward, Crosby said that Maltby wouldn't stop chirping and earned the chop delivered across his foot.
Sunday, Maltby dismissed any lingering bad blood, saying he was just doing his job.
"I think I've taken that role from Day 1," Maltby said. "It's all part of the game within the game. There was a lot going on both sides. There was a lot coming back from some of there guys as well. You have to try to have fun with it and make sure you keep it on the line of not crossing over and putting yourself in a situation where you are getting a penalty. You try to get every little edge you can. If it works, it works, if not no one is worse for wear."