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Homer is back for Game 5

by Michael Caples / Detroit Red Wings
DETROIT -- During Monday’s press conferences, Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said that Tomas Holmstrom would be in the line-up for Game 5 after sitting out Game 4 with a hamstring injury.  Babcock that knowing Holmstrom, there was no way he wouldn’t be playing in Game 5.


“You want all your players,” Babcock said. “I don't know if Homer's leg was broke, he wouldn't be playing anyway. That's just the way it is.”

Holmstrom’s net-front battle with Pittsburgh defenseman Hal Gill during Game 3 of the Stanley Cup finals ended with Homer being can-opened and sliding into the Pittsburgh goal. Holmstrom did not play in the last six minutes of the game.

He was a game-time decision for Saturday’s Game 4. He participated in the morning practice, but did not dress for the warm-up skate.

In the three Stanley Cup finals games he dressed in, Holmstrom piled up one goal, one assist, eight hits, and three penalties. The left winger has four goals and eight assists in 19 postseason games this year.

“He's playing today,” Babcock said. “And he'll find a way to be a real good contributor for us tonight.”
   
Babcock hopes that getting Holmstrom back in front of the Pittsburgh net will help jumpstart a struggling Detroit power play. In the 2008 playoffs, the Red Wings are converting at 18.4 percent on the power play, but in the Stanley Cup Final, they have scored only two goals on 22 chances.

“He's a good player for us and helps our power play,” Babcock said. “And our power play hasn't been all-world, by any means, but their penalty kill has been good.  And so it helps out with that and gives us more depth and puts Cleary with Draper and that gives us a better line and a line that hangs on the puck more.”

With a win Monday, the Red Wings will clinch the franchise’s 11th Stanley Cup.


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