The Wings are back at it tonight in what may be the most important game of the series. We have seen this before, and while the Predators are making arrangements for their 2nd round opponent the Wings know that wining tonight's game can turn the tide, as well as put the pressure on a team that has much less experience handling it.
Puck drops at 7:30 pm on FSD and CNBC
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It is important to note that the last five times the Wings have been down 2-1 in a series they won game 4 and the last 3 times they went in to win the series.
They are getting production from the stars, but players like Hudler, Franzen and Filppula have yet to really get anything going thus far. There is an untapped offensive well that could turn the tides in this series if they can break through.
Penalties are wearing on the team more than usual. Where Darren Helm and Patrick Eaves would have been used to kill them off the team now relies heavily on Zetterberg and Datsyuk, where they should be using that energy to create offense rather than prevent it.
I'm so sick of people talking about how much more superior Rinne is. Yes he's good, but he's not better than Howard. The guy played 73 games no wonder he led the league in wins. That's a .589 win% to Howards .614 not to mention Howard's GAA was much less and his Sv% was only slightly off.
Babs moved Cleary up to the top line with Datsyuk and Franzen during practice, but wouldn't confirm if he would go with that combination come game time. Normally I would be against this, but given the way Cleary has played even with one good leg he could provide the grinding, net-front presence the line needs.
Cleary is exceptional at tipping shots and getting under the opponents skin. Letting him be the guy who screens Rinne gives Franzen the freedom to roam and use his shot. Cleary is a utility player, he doesn't quite fit just right anywhere in the lineup, yet has a mixture of skills that afford him the ability to play with anyone on any line.
We as fans know what's at stake here. We've all seen it before and we know this team can win. What makes us a superior fan base is that we never give up on our team.
The Wings have some very specific things they want to focus on tonight, and if the execute them properly there is no stopping them. Get a good start, play on the inside, generate 2nd chances and minimize time on the PK.
Referees: Kelly Sutherland (#11) & Kevin Pollock (#33) Linesmen: Derek Amell (#75) & Scott Cherrey (#50)
DETROIT RED WINGS TEAM NOTES
DET is 46-24-4-7 all-time vs NSH in the reg. season
DET is 9-6 all-time vs NSH in the playoffs (2-0 in series, both opening round tilts - '04 and '08)
DET is 3-0 in the last 3 playoff series they've trailed 2-1 in games
DET is 11-5 in Game 4 of a playoff series since the 2005-06 NHL lockout
DET has won the 2nd most playoff series in NHL history (67, MTL - 90)
DET has won 59 straight playoff games in which they've score 4+ goals
DETROIT'S ALL-TIME PLAYOFF RECORDS IN:
Game 1: 63-52-1
Game 2: 69-47
Game 3: 53-55
Game 4: 48-52
Game 5: 38-37
Game 6: 29-23
Game 7: 13-8
DETROIT IN PLAYOFF OVERTIMES:
Overall OT record: 39-52
Home OT record: 20-35
Road OT record: 19-17
DETROIT RED WINGS PLAYER NOTES
• P. Datsyuk's next GP will give him sole possession of 4th place in NHL playoff history amongst Russians (currently tied w/A. Mogilny, 124)
• P. Datsyuk finished T-14th in the NHL in assists (48), 3rd in takeaways (97) and 10th in FO% (56.2) in the 2011-12 regular season
• P. Datsyuk is 3 points back of I. Larionov for 4th place all-time in NHL playoff history amongst Russians (97)
• P. Datsyuk is 2 goals back of P. Bure for 5th place in NHL playoff history amongst Russians (35)
• J. Howard finished T-5th in the NHL in wins (35), 6th in GAA (2.13), T-10th in SV% (.920) and T-5th in SO (6)
• J. Howard's next win (14) will give him sole possession of 9th place in NHL playoff history amongst American-born goaltenders (currently tied w/R. Esche)
• V. Filppula finished T-25th in the NHL in assists (43) and T-1st in points by a Finn (66) in the 2011-12 regular season
• V. Filppula's next goal will tie him with G. Gallant for 23rd place in DET playoff history (18)
• V. Filppula finished T-10th in the NHL in home points (43) in the 2011-12 regular season
• D. Cleary's next goal will tie him with I. Larionov for 20th place in DET playoff history (20)
• D. Cleary's next GP will tie him with S. Abel for 18th place in DET playoff history (96)
• H. Zetterberg finished T-22nd in the NHL in points (69), T-16th in assists (47) and 17th in SOG (267) in the 2011-12 regular season
• H. Zetterberg is 3 points back of A. Delvecchio for 5th place in DET playoff history (104)
• T. Holmstrom is 2 GP back of H. Richard for 32nd place in NHL playoff history (180)
• J. Hudler finished 3rd in the NHL in shooting percentage (19.7%) and T-21st in even-strength goals (23) in the 2011-12 regular season
• J. Hudler's next goal will tie him with V. Varada for 15th place in NHL history amongst Czech-born players
• J. Franzen's next point will tie him with B. Shanahan and N. Ullman for 11th place in DET playoff history (74)
• J. Franzen finished T-15th in the NHL in plus/minus (+23), T-11th in PPG (11) and T-3rd in GWG in the 2011-12 regular season
• J. Franzen's next assist will tie him with P. Coffey for 14th place in DET playoff history (35)
• N. Kronwall's next GP will tie him with V. Fetisov for 29th place in DET playoff history (78)
• N. Kronwall finished 4th in the NHL in goals by a defenseman (15) and 10th in blocked shots (177) in the 2011-12 regular season
• T. Bertuzzi finished T-15th in the NHL in plus/minus (+23) in the 2011-12 regular season
• I. White finished T-15th in the NHL in plus/minus (+23) in the 2011-12 regular season
• N. Lidstrom finished T-9th in the NHL in home points by a defenseman (26) in the 2011-12 regular season
• N. Lidstrom is 2 points back of S. Yzerman for most in DET playoff history (185)
• N. Lidstrom is 2 goals back of D. Potvin for 2nd-most in NHL playoff history amongst defensemen (56)
• N. Lidstrom is 5GP back of C. Chelios for most in NHL playoff history (266)
• N. Lidstrom's next point will tie him with B. Trottier for 11th place in NHL playoff history:
DET's All-Time Playoff Record When P. Datsyuk Plays and:
Has 0 Points: 26-32 (.448)
Has 1+ Point: 44-21 (.677)
Has 1+ Goal: 17-10 (.630)
Has 2+ Points: 16-5 (.762)