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Datsyuk not in Game 4 lineup for Wings

Thursday, 06.04.2009 / 7:57 PM / 2009 Stanley Cup Final: Detroit vs. Pittsburgh

NHL.com

PITTSBURGH – Hart Trophy finalist Pavel Datsyuk is not in the Game 4 lineup for the Detroit Red Wings.

Slowed by an apparent foot injury, Datsyuk also missed the first three games of the Stanley Cup Final. He skated for over an hour Thursday morning and coach Mike Babcock said the final decision for Datsyuk would be made by Datsyuk with input from team physicians.

Datsyuk was the last player to come off the ice Thursday morning -- long after his teammates did, as he continues to test his injured foot.

"I feel much better," said Datsyuk, who hasn’t played since Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. "I'm going to go pre-game skate. It's a lot better. I'm not comfortable giving a percentage."

In most cases, someone who was on the ice for as long as Datsyuk was on Thursday morning is a strong indication that he wouldn't play in Game 4. But Datsyuk insisted he was simply trying to test himself.

"I didn't skate for two weeks," Datsyuk said. "Just wanted to feel it, (get) more confidence. When you don't skate for two weeks, it's a little bit hard for me. I feel it was better in the morning. I feel more confidence more now."
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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