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Lidstrom celebrates birthday early with Game 7 win

by Brian Compton
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Hours before his 40th birthday, Nicklas Lidstrom scored a pair of power-play goals on Tuesday night and moved past Peter Forsberg on the all-time postseason points list (171) in NHL history.
Lidstrom, who now has 49 postseason goals, spoke with the media after the Detroit Red Wings advanced to the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs with a 6-1 win against the Phoenix Coyotes in Game 7 of this Western Conference Quarterfinal at Arena.
Q: That was a textbook Red Wings' performance tonight, wasn't it?
I thought we played with a lot of confidence tonight, even after the first period when they were no goals scored yet. I thought we played with patience and confidence.
Q: How nice was it to see you guys respond in a Game 7 on the road after not finishing the job at home?
Lidstrom: It was great feeling to win a Game 7 on the road. It was a tough series. Phoenix was a great opponent. They forced us to a Game 7, so we're very happy with the way the team responded tonight.
Q: The power play certainly stepped up tonight. What was the difference?
Lidstrom: I thought we were very poised with the puck. I think we had some motion and we were getting the shots through. When you have the motion, you're going to get some chances. That's what happened tonight. I thought that was key.
Q: You didn't look like a 40-year-old shooting the puck on your second goal. It looked as if you could play another 10 years if you wanted to.
Lidstrom: I just wanted to make sure I got a lot of wood on it. The puck came perfectly to me there.
Q: You still have a couple of hours left before your birthday. How will you celebrate?
Lidstrom: It's just great to win a crucial Game 7 on the road. I have a big birthday coming up, so it's a great feeling.
Q: This is the first time in your career you've ever won a Game 7 on the road. Can you talk about that experience?
Lidstrom: I had to wait a long time for that. It is a great feeling to see the team respond the way we did in a Game 7 on the road. It's been a tough series. It was great to see the team come out the way we did.
Q: You guys don't have much time to think about the San Jose Sharks. What do you expect from them?
Lidstrom: They have two very strong offensive lines, but they have a lot of depth on their team too. They play a very sound system, and it's tough to get scoring chances on them. It's going to be another tough opponent for us.
Follow Brian Compton on Twitter: @BComptonNHL

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