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Wings know they're against all odds

Wednesday, 05.4.2011 / 3:06 PM ET / News
By Michael Caples  - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
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Wings know they\'re against all odds
DETROIT – Throughout their 20 consecutive playoff appearances, the Red Wings have faced nearly every postseason situation imaginable.

This isn’t the first time they have had to prepare for a Game 3 after losing the first two games of the series. And the veteran members of the Wings are trying to use that experience to better themselves prior to a pivotal Game 3 of their series with the San Jose Sharks Wednesday.

“It’s really simple: just win one game,” said four-time Stanley Cup winner Kris Draper. “That’s what our mindset is, just go out, lay everything on the line tonight. I think when you lose two, you realize you just want to be a little bit better. If each player is a little bit better, then the team is going to be that much better, and you’re going to put yourself in the situation to win the hockey game.”

Detroit is 12-11 all-time in a Game 3 after beginning a playoff series in a 0-2 hole.  The Wings know the statistics are not in their favor at this point in the Western Conference semifinals – they hold a 5-21 all-time mark in series where they drop the first two games.

Draper, Nicklas Lidstrom, Tomas Holmstrom, and Pavel Datsyuk were members of the Wings’ roster last time they came back from the two-game hole. In 2002, the top-seeded Wings lost the first two games – at home – to the Vancouver Canucks in the opening round of the playoffs.

“One thing I’ll never forget is that we landed in Vancouver, and there were brooms,” Draper said. “There were 40 or 50 cars following our bus to the hotel, everyone walked off the bus and ‘Draper sucks’, ‘Hasek sucks’, ‘Shanahan sucks’, you know.”

The Vancouver fans didn’t bother the Wings, who rallied to win both away games by a combined score of 7-3. Detroit won four straight games to advance to the second round.

“The next thing you know, we won Game 3, and the crowd wasn’t nearly as big at the hotel, and then we came back in Game 4 and there really wasn’t too many people there at all. We came back for Game 6, and it was pretty quiet. It certainly did give us a big boost, and those are things certainly we can draw upon.”

The comeback against Vancouver propelled the Wings to their 10th Stanley Cup 17 games later. The veteran Wings are trying to share the lessons learned from that season with their younger teammates.

“That’s the good thing about this locker room, the experience we’ve had in different situations,” Draper said. “We’ve responded, we’ve played well, and we’ve done some good things. Now it’s up to us to do that again. We believe in one another, we believe in ourselves, and I know guys are looking forward to getting this going (Wednesday) night.”

Draper said that the Wings have also tried to learn from being on the opposite end of a team coming back from a two-game deficit. The memory of losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2009 Stanley Cup finals is still fresh in the minds of the Wings.

“You look at Pittsburgh, they were down two-nothing, came back and won the Stanley Cup,” Draper said. “Things like that, it happens. You really believe it. Three-nothing, obviously that’s a whole other ball game. Obviously there’s a reason why it’s happened I believe only four times in sports, because it is a big hole. That’s why there’s importance - huge importance - and huge emphasis on winning Game 3, and if we do that, we put ourselves in the series, and we go from there.”


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AWAY
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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 52 31 15 6 143 115 68
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 PIT 51 26 18 7 132 130 59
8 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
9 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 53 24 23 6 148 165 54
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
D. Larkin 51 18 19 25 37
H. Zetterberg 52 9 25 2 34
T. Tatar 51 15 17 -2 32
G. Nyquist 52 14 15 -2 29
J. Abdelkader 52 14 12 -4 26
P. Datsyuk 37 6 20 11 26
M. Green 46 4 17 -7 21
N. Kronwall 45 3 14 -10 17
B. Richards 38 5 10 6 15
D. DeKeyser 48 6 8 12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 19 10 4 .932 2.03
J. Howard 7 8 4 .904 2.89