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Holmstrom will be game-time decision for Wings

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Top-line forward Tomas Holmstrom took an on-ice spin Saturday morning with his Detroit Red Wings teammates to test out his injured right leg hours before Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals.

After gingerly skating for about 20 minutes and flexing his legs, the winger said he felt good but wasn't sure if he would play.

"It was a pretty good skate. I felt it a little bit," Holmstrom said. "That's the concern right there. We're trying to do the smartest thing and figure it out before game time.

"It's just a morning skate. You don't do that much and there is no body contact out there. It's a totally different thing when you do one-on-one battles."

Holmstrom is a powerful force in front of the net and he helps create space for high-scoring linemates Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk. He was injured late in Detroit's 3-2 loss in Game 3 on Wednesday night when he was knocked off his skates by Pittsburgh defenseman Hal Gill and into the Penguins net.

If he isn't able to play, Dan Cleary is expected to take Holmstrom's place on the top line, and Darren McCarty would rejoin the lineup.

"It's terrible," Holmstrom said. "This is the best time of the year and you want to be out there."

Dealing with the pain is only part of the problem for Holmstrom, who said there is a concern that the injury could get worse. Having two days between games helped in the recovery.

At the time he was hurt, Holmstrom said he was unable to skate. Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said Friday that the injury was to the hamstring.

Babcock said if Holmstrom says he is able to go, he will be in the lineup.

"He did just what everyone else did," Babcock said of the morning skate. "Basically, he felt pretty good. He's going to come back for the game tonight, see how he feels."

Holmstrom brushed off some talk from the Penguins that maybe he embellished the fall. No penalty was called on the play.

"I saw the replay," he said. "I was picked up. One leg was up in the air and I tried to stand up with one leg on the ice. I don't know where that comes from. I have no idea."

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