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It comes down to Game 7

Tuesday, 04.27.2010 / 8:58 PM ET / News
By Michelle Crechiolo  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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It comes down to Game 7
The Red Wings’ fate has come down to 60 minutes of hockey.

If the Wings win Game 7 on Tuesday in Glendale, Ariz., they advance to the Western Conference semifinals with hopes of making a third consecutive run to the Stanley Cup finals. If they lose, their injury-riddled, adversity-filled season is over.

But the battle-tested Wings aren’t breaking under the pressure. In fact, they’re looking forward to the challenge—it’s the fans’ nerves they’re worried about.

“I think it’s harder if you’re a bystander watching it than being on the ice,” Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said following Sunday’s 5-2 loss. “On the ice, you want to be part of something big in the playoffs, and Game 7 is getting bigger and bigger. It’s something fun to be a part of.”

While the Wings had a chance to close out the series in Sunday’s Game 6 on Joe Louis Arena, they know there’s no use in looking back. At this point, nothing matters but getting their minds right for Tuesday, especially since they won’t be playing in front of a home crowd.

“We face having to win a game on the road,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We’ve played well in their building thus far in the series, I think it’s important that we obviously get regrouped.”

The Wings have experienced 20 Game 7s in franchise history, while the Coyotes have played in four. Detroit has only played four of those games on the road, finishing with a 1-4 record.

However, Lidstrom alone has played in three more Game 7s than the entire Phoenix organization as a whole. His team’s experience in such pressure-filled situations paired with their desire to make up for Sunday’s loss is what he thinks will help them win.

“We know what’s on the line, we know what Game 7 means,” Lidstrom said. “That’s why you have to be ready for that challenge, and really play with a lot more desperation than we did in the second and third period (Sunday).”

Forward Darren Helm is actually looking forward to playing at Jobing.com Arena, a venue the Wings have won two of their three games at thus far in the series.

“It’s going to be an exciting game, they’ve got great fans, they’ve got a good atmosphere, they play hard in their building,” he said. “So it’s going to be an exciting game for us to go into their rink and try to pull one off.”

The Wings are also anticipating the chance to prove themselves after an uncharacteristically bumpy regular season, where securing a playoff berth wasn’t always a sure thing.

“They’re a real good team, we like to think we’re a better team,” Babcock said. “The great thing about this seventh game? We’re all going to find out the answer to that. Because in my opinion, the best team advances. Real simple.”



SCHEDULE

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AWAY
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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 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
H. Zetterberg 82 13 37 -15 50
P. Datsyuk 66 16 33 7 49
D. Larkin 80 23 22 11 45
T. Tatar 81 21 24 4 45
G. Nyquist 82 17 26 -2 43
J. Abdelkader 82 19 23 -16 42
M. Green 74 7 28 -6 35
B. Richards 68 10 18 4 28
D. Helm 77 13 13 -2 26
N. Kronwall 64 3 23 -21 26
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80