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Wings know what is needed for Game 3 success

by Rick Sadowski /
DETROIT – The game plan for the Detroit Red Wings Tuesday night sounds simple enough: stay out of the penalty box, do a better job on faceoffs and take more shots on goal.

But the Red Wings have had a difficult time in all three areas against the San Jose Sharks, which is why they trail 2-0 in the Western Conference semifinal series heading into Game 3 at Joe Louis Arena (7:30 p.m. ET, VERSUS, TSN).

Oh, and Detroit needs to find a way to put the clamps on Sharks center Joe Pavelski, who collected 2 goals and 1 assist in each of the first two games and has scored a goal in five consecutive playoff games.

"You can say things didn't go our way. Forget all that. Just take responsibility for the penalties you take and do a better job with your sticks and moving your feet. If we want to win the series, that's what we have to do."
-- Mike Babcock

"He's been good," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said following this morning's pregame skate. "My wife actually mentioned it to me yesterday. I was driving the kids around, and when we got back my wife said to me, 'Where's that Pavelski from?' I said, 'Why?'

"She said, 'Well, he's a stud.' And I said, 'Well, he played at Wisconsin -- thanks for the tip.' "

On a more serious note, Babcock said that forward Patrick Eaves, who has a hyperextended elbow, would miss his second game in a row. Eaves' absence has hurt the Red Wings' penalty killing. They've been shorthanded 16 times in the series -- 10 times in Game 2 -- and allowed 4 power-play goals, all four to Pavelski.

"(Eaves) is for us a forechecking, banging penalty killer," Babcock said. "When you take 10 penalties in a game, you can use a penalty killer. So our plan tonight is to not take any penalties so we won't have to worry about it."

Jason Williams will be in the lineup again, on a line with Kris Draper and Darren Helm.

The Red Wings are frustrated about all the penalties, but aren't complaining about them. Rather, they are vowing to play with more discipline.

"You can say things didn't go our way," Babcock said. "Forget all that. Just take responsibility for the penalties you take and do a better job with your sticks and moving your feet. If we want to win the series, that's what we have to do."

Said Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom: "(Tonight) is going to be a huge game for us. We know we haven't played our best. We're playing good, but we took those stupid penalties. It's just been killing us. We have to pick up the power play, too.

"For sure it's going to be nice to be home. We've been in the games, the first two games, but it's tough when you're in the box all the time. It's been hurting us a lot."

The Sharks outshot the Red Wings in each of the first two games, including by a 45-31 count in Game 2 when they also dominated on faceoffs, winning 43 of 69 draws. Twenty of San Jose's shots came on power plays.

"We can't take as many penalties, but we have to continue to be aggressive when we can," Red Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. "We have to play a lot better for 60 minutes."

The Sharks also believe they must raise their level of play, especially on the road, and they aren't taking the 2-0 series lead for granted.

"They're Detroit, they've won the Stanley Cup, they've been to the Final and they're not going away," Sharks coach Todd McLellan said. "We're well aware of that. (Being ahead) 2-0 means absolutely nothing to us heading into tonight. It's all about one game. At the end of the night we'll look up at the scoreboard and see where we're at. The fact that we're ahead doesn't make us feel comfortable one bit."

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