Posted on April 18, 2008 04:19 PM | Permalink
DETROIT - Detroit will make one minor change in the lineup - in addition to the major change in the lineup - for Game 5 of this Western Conference quarter-final Friday night.
The small change is a shuffling of the fourth-line centres, as Red Wings coach Mike Babcock will substitute Darren Helm for Mark Hartigan in order to boost the quickness of his lineup.
“He’s fast,” Babcock said. “We had lots of good territorial play last game, but just wanted a little more speed in there. He can really skate.”
There will be considerably more focus on the Wings change in goal, as Chris Osgood will make his first start of the series tonight after replacing Dominik Hasek.
“Practice hard and stay ready, that’s been my philosophy,” Osgood said. “I know I can do the job. I know I can play. I’ve felt 100 per cent ready the whole season.”
Status quo for Predators
The Predators are likely to keep their lineup intact after winning back-to-back contests.
Nashville will be seeking its first road playoff win after losing nine straight post-season games away from Music City. Five of the Predators’ playoff road losses have been to Detroit.
Accidental or intentional?
Red Wings centre Kris Draper said Friday morning that Predators forward Jordin Tootoo stepped on his back during Wednesday’s Game Four, adding that he thought it was intentional.
The incident occurred in the first period, when both players were battling for a puck against the boards and Draper wound up face-down on the ice.
“Anything he does isn’t an accident, plain and simple,” Draper said. Tootoo disagreed, saying he tried to avoid Draper.
“I recall the play,” Tootoo said. “I was just trying to get out of the way because he was in a vulnerable position.
“I’m a straight-up guy. I would never intend to do anything like that. I was just trying to get out of the way.”
Draper said he didn’t suffer any harm during the play.
“To be honest, I didn’t feel it,” Draper said. “I came in after the first period and our docs asked if I was all right.
“I said, ‘Yeah, I’m all right why?’ They brought it to my attention that Tootoo stepped on my back. He doesn’t do anything accidentally out there.”
Valtteri Filppula-Pavel Datsyuk-Tomas Holmstrom
Johan Franzen-Henrik Zetterberg-Mikael Samuelsson
Jiri Hudler-Kris Draper-Dan Cleary
Dallas Drake-Darren Helm-Darren McCarty
Nicklas Lidstrom-Brian Rafalski
Niklas Kronwall-Brad Stuart
Brett Lebda-Chris Chelios
Jan Hlavac-David Legwand-J.P. Dumont
Martin Erat-Jason Arnott-Alexander Radulov
Vern Fiddler-Radek Bonk-Jordin Tootoo
Darcy Hordichuk-Jerred Smithson-Rich Peverley
Dan Hamhuis-Greg de Vries
Ryan Suter-Marek Zidlicky
Greg Zanon-Shea Weber