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Holmstrom's hamstring forces Wings LW out of Game 4

NHL.com @NHL

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom sat out Game 4 of the Stanley Cup finals Saturday night due to an injured hamstring.

The top-line winger took an on-ice spin Saturday morning with his Detroit teammates to test out his injured right leg hours and said he would be a game-time decision. He didn't make it back onto the ice for the pregame warmup and was scratched from the lineup.

After gingerly skating for about 20 minutes in the morning 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 1-on-1 battles."

A big cheer went up from the partisan Penguins crowd when it was announced that Holmstrom wouldn't play.

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.

Dan Cleary took Holmstrom's place on the top line, and Darren McCarty rejoined the lineup for the first time since the series opener.

"It's terrible," said the 35-year-old Holmstrom, who has four goals and 12 points in 19 playoff games. "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, just not enough for him to play yet.

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.

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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