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Red Wings aren't ready for season to end

Detroit must find offense to avoid ouster by Tampa Bay in Game 5

by Paul Harris / Correspondent

DETROIT - Not even two weeks ago, the Detroit Red Wings were celebrating their 25th straight Stanley Cup Playoff berth. Their latest postseason run may not last past Thursday.

That's when the Red Wings will face elimination in their Eastern Conference First Round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports 2, FS-D, SUN).

Detroit trails the best-of-7 series 3-1, mostly because of a lack of offense; the Red Wings have scored two goals in each of the first four games of the series.

"We've just got to keep believing in what we're doing," Red Wings captain Henrik Zetterberg said after practice at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday. "Putting pucks on the net, getting people in front and going to the tough areas."

The Red Wings have been particularly hampered by their lack of production on the power play. Detroit is 1-for-21 in the series with the man-advantage, and was 0-for-4 in Game 4, a 3-2 loss Tuesday.

Video: TBL@DET, Gm4: Bishop turns away Datsyuk's chance

Tampa Bay has made Detroit's task difficult by getting in the shooting and passing lanes and blocking shots.

"For us, it's just getting pucks to the net," Zetterberg said. "They're good at getting in the lanes, but we've got to find ways to get it through."

On the flip side, the Lightning scored all three of their goals in Game 4 on the power play.

"Last night they made a couple of good plays on the power play and we didn't," Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill said. 

Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk have combined for one point in the series, a goal that went off Zetterberg's skate in Detroit's 2-0 win in Game 3.

"I've got to be better; just got to produce more," Zetterberg said. "I'm not happy with the way it's been, so I have to improve that."

Video: TBL@DET, Gm4: Helm bangs home loose puck

Said Blashill: "We've got to be a little better as a group. I think, to a man, we've got to capitalize on the chances we're getting."

If the Red Wings don't win Game 5, they will be eliminated by the Lightning for the second straight postseason.

"Looking forward to going down to Tampa [on Wednesday] and getting focused on winning one game," Zetterberg said.

Said defenseman Niklas Kronwall: "All we've got to do is go down there and win one hockey game and come back here for Sunday [a potential Game 6].

Blashill said defenseman Alexey Marchenko, who didn't play in Game 4, has an upper-body injury and probably won't be available for Game 5.

Detroit called up defenseman Xavier Ouellet from Grand Rapids of the American Hockey League. Blashill said Ouellet is a seventh option for the Red Wings on defense.

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