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Round 2
Round 3
Stanley Cup Final

Kronwall leaned on heavily in return

Thursday, 04.14.2011 / 5:58 PM

By Brian Hedger - NHL.com Correspondent / 2011 WCQF: Detroit-Phoenix Live Blog

After missing the final five games of the regular season with an upper-body injury believed to be a shoulder issue, Detroit defenseman Niklas Kronwall returned to action in Game 1 and played a big role in the Red Wings' 4-2 win.

Not only did he log 21:21 of ice time -- second only to Brad Stuart's 23:25 -- but Kronwall spent 6:04 on the ice killing off Phoenix power plays. That was about two-thirds of Phoenix's 9:09 of man-advantage time and the Wings didn't allow a single power-play goal.

Kronwall also blocked two shots, which he didn't have to think twice about doing despite his injury.

"You don't really think about it," he said. "All you want to try to do is prevent that puck from going through. It's just as simple as that. You want to try to block as many shots as you can."

Once again, it shows character in this dressing room. Once again, there's no quitting in here. We all wanted this so bad and we worked so hard to get home-ice advantage and we weren't going to let this one slide.

— Colorado Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog on his team's OT Game 1 win vs. Minnesota Wild