Wings' lineup not set

Lidstrom could play in Game 5

The Associated PressMay 27, 2009 

The Red Wings did just fine without Nicklas Lidstrom. Now they don't want to push their luck.

Detroit routed the Chicago Blackhawks 6-1 Sunday to take a 3-1 lead in the Western Conference finals. It was the first playoff game Lidstrom missed in hiscareer.

Rookie Jonathan Ericsson filled in for the six-time Norris Trophy-winning defenseman, and the defending champions didn't miss a beat. Still, as well as Ericsson played, Detroit hopes it won't have to replace Lidstrom again in Game 5 tonight with a chance to reach the Stanley Cup finals.

"It's way easier to replace quality players in the short term than it is in the long term becauseeveryone can lift their level for a period of time," Detroit coach Mike Babcock said Tuesday. "But, how you gonna play like Nick every night? I haven't seen anybody play like Nick every night, except Nick."

Babcock said Lidstrom andPavel Datsyuk were feeling better, but the team planned to wait until both got a chance to skate before the game to decidewhether they will play.

Lidstrom missed Game 4 with an undisclosed injury. Datsyuk, an MVP finalist, missed the past two games with an injured foot.

Babcock cut off a question about resting the players with a 3-1 series lead.

"If they're ready, they'replaying," Babcock insisted.

Chicago coach Joel Quenneville said his team would wait until game day to determine if No. 1 goaltender Nikolai Khabibulin and leading scorer Martin Havlat will be on the ice to help avoid elimination.

Havlat returned to the lineup Sunday, two days after a jarring hit from Detroit Niklas Kronwall, but was limited to fewer than eight minutes because he was checked hard by Brad Stuart.

Khabibulin has been out since playing the first two periods of Game 3 because of a lower body injury. He was replaced byCristobal Huet, who allowed five of Detroit six goals in Game 5.

"We've found ways to play great without some of our best players all year," Chicago star Jonathan Toews said. "We've missed guys like Duncan Keith and Patrick Sharp and we found ways to win without those guys. ... There is no excuse."

NOTES

Quinn hired to coach Oilers: The Edmonton Oilers are bringing Pat Quinn back to the NHL. He's bringing a gold medal along with him.

The Oilers hired Pat Quinn as coach on Tuesday, hoping his success with Canada at the world junior championships earlier this year can translate to the pros. Quinn has been out of the league since being fired as coach of the Toronto Maple Leafs following the 2005-06 season.

Balsillie sets deadline for ruling on Coyotes: Jim Balsillie's bid to purchase the Phoenix Coyotes and move the franchise to southern Ontario, Canada, will be withdrawn if it isn't approved by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court by the end of June.

Balsillie's deadline appears in documents filed Tuesday by the attorneys for Coyotes ownerJerry Moyes.

Peter Zezel dies at age 44: Peter Zezel, a center who played 15 NHL seasons after breaking into the league with the Philadelphia Flyers as a teenager, has died. He was 44.

Zezel struggled with a rare blood disease called hemolytic anemia the past 10 years. He suffered from the ailment off and on, but had rebounded after being in critical condition in 2001.

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