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Game 3: Draper in, Miller out

Babcock hopes that Draper's playoff experience will give list

Wednesday, 05.4.2011 / 1:16 PM ET / News
By Jeff Sanford  - DetroitRedWings.com Intern
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Game 3: Draper in, Miller out
DETROIT – After being scratched for the first two games of the Western Conference semifinals, Kris Draper will play in Game 3, according to Red Wings coach Mike Babcock. 

At Wednesday morning’s press conference, which followed the team’s morning skate at Joe Louis Arena, Babcock said that Draper will play against the San Jose Sharks, replacing forward Drew Miller in the lineup. Babcock also said that this was them, “Only lineup change at this time.” 

Draper was scratched after an unproductive Phoenix series, in which he didn’t register a point and had only one shot on goal. However, the Wings veteran has plenty of experience to fall back on. Draper has played in 16 consecutive postseasons dating back to 1993.

Obviously, Draper is eager to return to action after sitting out of two frustrating games at San Jose’s HP Pavilion.

“I’m looking forward to that first shift going out there,” he said. “And like I said, Game 1 and Game 2, personally it was tough. But it’s not about me. It’s not about one individual. It’s about the team and the Detroit Red Wings. Obviously, I wasn’t in the mix, but I stayed in the dressing room, I took warm up. I did everything I could to hang around with the guys and encourage the guys.”

Babcock hopes that Draper’s playoff experience will be an improvement over a shaky Miller, who has been nearly invisible in the semifinals thus far, tallying neither a point nor a shot on goal.

Draper’s optimism will undoubtedly be a lift for a Detroit team that is in an 0-2 series hole against the Sharks.

“We just got to win one game,” he said. “You win Game 3, it’s 2-1, and it’s a series. We know that and we believe that.”

And he should know better than most, having been on the 2002 Red Wings team that came back from a 0-2 deficit against the Vancouver Canucks to win four straight. Draper hopes to do the same against San Jose.

“Do we believe we can beat this hockey club?” he said. “Absolutely.”


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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
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
R. Sheahan 81 14 11 -8 25
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 27 16 6 .921 2.33
J. Howard 14 14 5 .906 2.80