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Posted On Thursday, 05.16.2013 / 4:33 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Blackhawks-Red Wings series blog

Blackhawks' Kruger learning lessons from Toews

CHICAGO -- Marcus Kruger sits next to Jonathan Toews in the Chicago Blackhawks dressing room at United Center, so he doesn’t have to go far to seek advice from his captain.

That works inversely as well. Toews can turn and speak to the 22-year-old Swedish forward when something’s on his mind.

“Every game I get in his ear and tell him to shoot the puck or just go to the net and he's going to get an ugly one, so he scored a nice one last night,” Toews said.

The nice one he was referring to was a goal that put the Blackhawks in front 3-1 against the Detroit Red Wings in Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.12.2013 / 4:38 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Red Wings series blog

Red Wings put Eaves back in Game 7 lineup

ANAHEIM -- Patrick Eaves didn't know what his personal record in Game 7s in the Stanley Cup Playoffs was until a member of the media told him Sunday morning at Honda Center.

He did know that he played in several (four), and that experience is supplemented by the many he played out in his mind during his childhood in Fairbault, Minn. Eaves' Detroit Red Wings will face the Anaheim Ducks here Sunday night and the winner will advance to the Western Conference Semifinals.

Both teams have several young players who will be playing in a Game 7 in the NHL playoffs for the first time. Detroit coach Mike Babcock's message on that matter is clear, and alluded to what Eaves meant when he mentioned all those Game 7s as a kid.

"You've got to excited to play on this stage," Babcock said. "You grow up dreaming about it, scoring the winning goal in overtime. Anybody who's been involved in hockey knew who they were and who you tried to emulate at the time. You've done it a million times. Just play the game.

"You spend your whole life growing up -- like for me it was Leaf Rapids, Manitoba, road hockey games, I was always Bobby Orr. They were the team, and I loved Bobby Orr. You're always the guy scoring the winning goal in overtime. You've done it your whole life, so just go do it."


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Posted On Friday, 05.10.2013 / 1:12 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Red Wings series blog

Colaiacovo, Abdelkader joining Red Wings lineup

DETROIT -- The Detroit Red Wings will get a key component of the team's top line back from suspension, but that isn't the only lineup tweak from coach Mike Babcock as an elimination game beckons.

Veteran defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo will make his debut in the Western Conference Quarterfinals against the Anaheim Ducks in Game 6 on Friday at Joe Louis Arena (8 p.m. ET, CNBC, TSN2), replacing rookie Brian Lashoff. Detroit, down 3-2 in the series, needs a win to force Game 7 in Anaheim on Sunday.

"We didn't move the puck," Babcock said of the reason for his switch on the blue line. "I thought we struggled, particularly with that pair, in a lot of the game, from the opening shift to a number of shifts. We weren't good enough so we're making a change."

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Posted On Monday, 05.06.2013 / 12:25 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Red Wings series blog

Red Wings move Samuelsson up to top line

DETROIT -- Mikael Samuelsson returned to the lineup for the Detroit Red Wings in Game 3 of this Western Conference Quarterfinals series, and it didn't take him long to earn a promotion.

With Justin Abdelkader suspended for two contests, Samuelsson will start Game 4 next to Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on Detroit's top line Monday night against the Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena.

"It is a good opportunity. I'm excited about it," Samuelsson said. "I don't know what makes it easier or harder. Let's see tonight. I've been here before and I've played with good players. I know what they're capable of and I'll try to find some open spots."


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Posted On Sunday, 05.05.2013 / 5:32 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Red Wings series blog

Boudreau: Conditioning fueling Ducks strong finishes

DETROIT -- A theme has developed in the past two games of this Western Conference Quarterfinal Series between the Anaheim Ducks and the Detroit Red Wings.

Or has it?

In each of the past two contests, the Ducks have rattled off three unanswered goals in the third period. Once, it was to erase a 4-1 deficit and force overtime. The next time, it was to turn a 1-0 advantage into a misleading rout.

The results had members of the media quizzing Red Wings players and coach Mike Babcock about a potential issue developing. Babcock was adamant these were two separate incidents, and shouldn't be lumped together.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.05.2013 / 5:29 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Red Wings series blog

Etem's speed a boon for Anaheim's attack

DETROIT -- Teemu Selanne didn't earn the nickname "Finnish Flash" for being slow in some sort of ironic joke.

So considering Selanne is something of an expert about being able to move swiftly on a pair of hockey skates, his endorsement of Anaheim Ducks rookie Emerson Etem should be a valued one.

"Obviously his speed is incredible," the 42-year-old Selanne said of Etem. "That's the one thing that he has to take advantage of every night. They always say, ‘Speed kills,' and he has the speed. Everything else is going to come later. That keeps you ... that is the biggest tool, and then, obviously, experience and opportunity is going to help him. But it is fun to watch when young guys do that."

Etem was born in the summer of 1992, just a few months before Teemu mania would sweep through the plains of Manitoba and the NHL. He's the youngest guy on this Ducks roster, but he's proving the extra pressure of the playoffs doesn't faze him.

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Posted On Sunday, 05.05.2013 / 5:27 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Red Wings series blog

Lydman likely to miss Game 4 for the Ducks

DETROIT -- The Anaheim Ducks are likely to be without defenseman Toni Lydman for Game 4 of this Western Conference Quarterfinals series, while the Detroit Red Wings are waiting to find out if they will not have forward Justin Abdelkader available Monday night.

Abdelkader received a five-minute major penalty for charging and a game misconduct for a hit on Lydman with a little more than five minutes remaining in the second period of Game 3 here Saturday at Joe Louis Arena. He was slated to have a supplemental disciplinary hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety on Sunday afternoon.

Should Abdelkader be suspended, the Red Wings would be without a key component of their top line and an unsung hero in the team's drive to earn a 22nd consecutive berth in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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Posted On Saturday, 05.04.2013 / 12:59 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Red Wings series blog

Sbisa in for Ducks; Lashoff, Samuelsson for Wings

DETROIT -- The Anaheim Ducks and Detroit Red Wings will make changes to their lineups for Game 3 of this Western Conference Quarterfinals series Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Defenseman Luca Sbisa, who hasn't played since April 13, will return for the Ducks. He battled an injury near the end of the regular season and was a healthy scratch for the first two games of the best-of-7 series, which is tied after Detroit's 5-4 overtime win in Game 2 at Honda Center.

Veteran Sheldon Souray likely will come out of the lineup to make room for Sbisa, who had one goal and eight points in 41 games this season.

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Posted On Friday, 05.03.2013 / 8:13 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Red Wings series blog

Ducks say comeback didn't change momentum

DETROIT -- Were this still the regular season, it is possible the Anaheim Ducks would go into their next game riding a wave of momentum from a crazy comeback Thursday night in a 5-4 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings.

Alas, this is a Western Conference Quarterfinals series in the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs, and the old addage that there is no momentum during a best-of-7 series probably applies.

“No, I don’t think there’s any momentum,” Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. “It is still in their favor. They won the game. That’s the bottom line. In the playoffs, you don’t get points for ties or points for overtime. I think that we can take some positives out of it. We showed a lot of character to come back and know that we need to play that type of game from the start.”

Anaheim prevailed in a Game 1 that proved to be a little more tight-checking than Game 2 Thursday. That was in part because the Red Wings struck quickly in each of the three periods and built a 4-1 lead, which forced the Ducks into a wide-open style and the teams traded chances at both ends.

Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau said upon further review, he’s worried more about the mental mistakes than physical ones heading into Game 3 here on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET, TSN, RDS2, NBCSN, KDOC, FS-D).

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Posted On Friday, 05.03.2013 / 7:53 PM

By Corey Masisak -  NHL.com Staff Writer /NHL.com - Ducks-Red Wings series blog

Ducks stick with Hiller in goal for Game 3

DETROIT -- Bruce Boudreau will stick with his No. 1 goaltender for Game 3 of the Anaheim Ducks' Western Conference Quarterfinal series.

Boudreau was asked Friday about Jonas Hiller's performance in the Ducks' 5-4 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday at Honda Center, and he didn't bother with any gamesmanship.

"He's playing tomorrow," Boudreau said. "I thought there was some great saves and some saves he should have had, but I don't think on a couple of them the work in front of him was very good either.

"If you start pulling guys after they make one mistake, then they'll be afraid to play the game. They've got to be able to play without fear of things happening to them."

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Quote of the Day

This is a big year for us in a lot of ways. You can see Garth and management really trying to find that solution to get us into the playoffs and consistently have that. The pressure is great. You have to enjoy it. It just means there's a great opportunity ahead of you.

— Islanders captain John Tavares