Early news on Sunday’s Game Five… Justin Abdelkader will replace Tomas Kopecky in the Detroit lineup.
Kopecky is out after taking a hard punch in his fight with Anaheim’s Francois Beauchemin in Game Four.
The News has Mike Babcock’s reasoning for going with Abdelkader over Ville Leino or Aaron Downey. All three forwards were called up after the Grand Rapids Griffins were eliminated from the playoffs, along with defenseman Jakub Kindl and goalie Jimmy Howard.
“Because he’ll run over people,” Babcock said of Abdelkader. “We expect him to play hard like (Darren) Helm. He’s on the forecheck and he’s a physical guy. He scored 23 goals for them (Grand Rapids) this season and was one of their best players in the playoffs.”
Brian Rafalski and Kris Draper are doubtful for the game. No word from the Ducks on the status of James Wisniewski.