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Ducks stifle the Red Wings' Pavel Datsyuk

Datsyuk has two assists against the Ducks and not much else.

May 13, 2009|Lisa Dillman

One of the lingering mysteries for the Detroit Red Wings has been the inability of Pavel Datsyuk to find his scoring touch against the Ducks.

In fact, he has only one goal in 10 playoff games, coming against the Blue Jackets, and two assists against the Ducks.

"You can tell he's trying hard. He's making plays," said Detroit defenseman Nicklas Lidstrom after the Ducks beat the Red Wings, 2-1, in Game 6 on Tuesday night at the Honda Center.

"He's coming through the neutral zone with speed. He's beating some of their defensemen, but the puck's not going in.

"But he's creating a lot of chances by just going hard to the net. I don't really see any frustration. He's competing hard. He's getting chances. It's just a matter of burying those chances."

Lineups filled with movers and shakers

The game of moves and countermoves continued. Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle shuffled his defense pairings for Game 6, going with Chris Pronger-Scott Niedermayer; Francois Beauchemin-James Wisniewski; and Ryan Whitney-Sheldon Brookbank.

Speaking of moves, the Ducks' Todd Marchant had the best line after practice Monday when talking about tactical adjustments.

"We're constantly making adjustments, not only before games but shift to shift," he said. "We're constantly making adjustments to what they're doing. They're making adjustments to what we're doing.

"And it becomes a chess match. Hopefully, our king, our queen can get their king. I don't play chess, but it sounds good."

Additionally, Erik Christensen, who played well for the Ducks in Game 5, was scratched Tuesday.

Back in the lineup for the Red Wings for the first time in this series was defenseman Brain Rafalski, who had been out with what has been called "an upper-body injury." He played a decent amount through the first two periods, 12 minutes 56 seconds.

Also in the lineup for the Red Wings was rookie defenseman Jonathan Ericsson, who suffered an injured right foot in Game 5 and did not practice Monday.

He said that the equipment managers would modify his skate boot to accommodate his swollen foot, saying it mostly hurt in the area of the arch.

Kudos to Chicago from an old friend

As recently as March 4, Wisniewski was one of them -- as in a member of the Chicago Blackhawks.

The 25-year-old defenseman was traded to the Ducks from the Blackhawks that day in a multi-player deal. Samuel Pahlsson was the key figure going the other way to Chicago.

It could be said that the Blackhawks are the biggest surprise of the postseason. Of course there seems to be plenty of competition for that category.

Chicago became the first team to reach the final four, an early arrival, almost a metaphor for the youthful team.

Wisniewski has been tracking the progress of his buddies and keeping in touch with them during their playoff series wins against Calgary and Vancouver.

"Absolutely," he said. "It's good for them coming out and doing something special," he said. "The city is just starved, craving for a winning team.

"It's a good hockey city. And it's good for the league."

Wisniewski was asked if his father, Jim, was coming to Game 6 at Anaheim, and he joked that Dad was benched, smiling: "He's bad luck -- no more games for him."


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