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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.”


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

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 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59