Draper In, Datsyuk Game-Time Decision for Game Four

The Red Wings and the Penguins meet in a crucial Game Four tonight and it looks like Detroit might have reinforcements.

Kris Draper will rejoin the Wings' lineup for the first time since May 22, Game Three of the Western Conference Final series against the Chicago Blackhawks. He was a healthy scratch in Games Two and Three of the Stanley Cup Finals as coach Mike Babcock was hesitant to change a winning lineup.

Pavel Datsyuk could return to the ice for the first time since May 19, Game Two of the series with Chicago. Datsyuk completed a full practice with the team on Wednesday but then skated for an extended period in the Thursday morning skate, longer than usual for a gameday. He is considered a game-time decision.

Draper will replace Justin Abdelkader in the lineup. Should Datsyuk return he will replace Ville Leino.

A Detroit win tonight would put them up 3-1 in the series, giving them three tries to get one more win. Should the Penguins win, the Red Wings will have to head back to Detroit for Game Five having lost the 2-0 series lead they had when they came to Pittsburgh.

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To answer my own question, game 6 will be Tuesday, and then, if needed, game 7 will be Friday (6/12).

I watched the game on CBC (one of the reasons I'll probably NEVER leave se Michigan), and in the first period (I think) when the Wings were on a PP and one of the Penguins hit Lidstrom despite the fact that he had not TOUCHED the puck, the announcers questioned why that penalty was not called, and answering their own question, they commented that it's a tough call to put a team on a 5 on 3 in the Finals. I nearly lost it, there...glad I wasn't out in public! How many 5-on-3s did we see last year in the Finals? Does my memory serve?

Welcome home, Wings! Get a good night's sleep, some good chow, and visualize the perfect game. Then, FANS, let's show some spirit!

Posted by OldBroad on 6/5/2009 at 5:17 PM


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Pavel Datsyuk

Pavel Datsyuk
Credit: Clark Rasmussen

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