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SCP '09 GAME DAY: SUNDAY MAY 10--ANAHEIM AT DETROIT, 5PM ET

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davetherave

davetherave
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SCP '09 GAME DAY: SUNDAY MAY 10--ANAHEIM AT DETROIT, 5PM ET AnaAnaheim at SCP '09 GAME DAY: SUNDAY MAY 10--ANAHEIM AT DETROIT, 5PM ET DetDetroit

GAME FIVE, STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS WEST SEMIFINAL
SERIES TIED 2-2

5:00 PM ET, May 10, 2009
Joe Louis Arena, Detroit, Michigan

TSN/RDS/Versus

Ducks-Red Wings Preview

DETROIT (AP/ESPN/STATS LLC ) -- Really, it's not about the money.
Some people cringe when athletes say that.

When Marian Hossa did, no one could question it.

Hossa signed a one-year deal with the Detroit Red Wings last summer, turning down a longer contract to stay in Pittsburgh and a more lucrative one to play for Edmonton, because he believed the defending Stanley Cup champions gave him the best chance to win a title.

Anaheim Ducks forward Teemu Selanne vividly remembers hearing the news back home in Finland.

"We were joking, 'The rich got richer," Selanne recalled Saturday, a day before facing Hossa and the Red Wings on their home ice in Game 5. "We knew Detroit was going to be stronger.

"It's hard to repeat, so it's good to have new blood from guys who are hungry to win the Cup."

Perhaps it makes sense that Hossa helped Detroit win a game it needed against Anaheim to avoid being on the brink of elimination in the Western Conference semifinals.

After being held pointless in the first three games by the Ducks, Hossa broke a tie with two goals in a 3-minute span to lift the Red Wings to a 6-3, series-evening victory in Game 4.

"It definitely feels good when you can finally put a puck in the net," Hossa said. "We had some great chances and played some good games, but the puck didn't go in. We tried to stay patient."

Hossa, though, was impatient about his quest for a Cup.

The marquee free agent from Slovakia signed in Detroit at a relative discount for about $7.5 million, declining an offer estimated to be worth $49 million to remain with the runner-up Penguins and reportedly many more millions to join the Oilers.

The 38-year-old Selanne understands why Hossa made the rare decision to leave money on the bargaining table after completing his stellar career in Anaheim with a championship two years ago.

"For a veteran who has made a lot of money, like Hossa, you know you have to sacrifice to win a Cup," Selanne said. "Winning the Cup is priceless. I think anybody would take a pay cut to try to win a Cup."

The 30-year-old Hossa improved his chances -- and those of his team -- by finding a way to score in a matchup featuring the past two Stanley Cup winners.

"He's a high-end player and he has to feel like the weight of the world is off his back," Detroit coach Mike Babc0ck said. "Anyone who envisions themselves as a scorer, when it's not going in the net, they start pressing. So it was good for him."

Hossa had a team-high 40 goals this season and has scored at least 29 times in nine straight seasons with Detroit, Pittsburgh, Atlanta and Ottawa.

Ducks defenseman Scott Niedermayer said it was inevitable Hossa was going to find the back of the net in the series.

"He's a talented, gifted guy," Niedermayer said. "But when we look back at those goals, we feel we could've done more in those situations."

Heading into Game 5 on Sunday in Detroit, Anaheim coach Randy Carlyle would not say who would be in goal trying to stop Hossa.

Carlyle replaced Jonas Hiller, who gave up five goals after making 100-plus saves in two wins, with Jean-Sebastien Giguere on Thursday night.

"We decided to rest Jonas Hiller in that situation," Carlyle said. "Giguere has been working diligently, and we felt it would be best to give him an opportunity to sharpen and hone in playoff-type action.

"With it being a three-goal lead, it made sense to do that and give him an opportunity to get his feet underneath him. If we decide to go in that direction, he's not coming in cold."

So, who's going to start Sunday?

"You guys better come to the warmup," Carlyle said.

Babc0ck isn't buying it.

"Oh, he'll be back," said Babc0ck, referring to Hiller. "Giggy's really good. Hiller has been fantastic."

shabbs

shabbs
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I wonder if the weekend trend will continue... road team wins to put the other team on the brink.

davetherave

davetherave
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If Wiz does not play today...tough odds for Anaheim to try to beat the Wings at The Joe.

Watching the Detroit Wheels rolling in the last one...they do look like they be startin' to motor.

shabbs

shabbs
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They will rally... just like the Pens rallied around missing Gonchar.

davetherave

davetherave
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The view from California...in today's Los Angeles Times:

Ducks need to adjust to Red Wings' depth
After a poor Game 4, Anaheim will try to recapture its momentum, but the Red Wings might not allow it.

Helene Elliott, LA TIMES/May 10, 2009

From what Ducks Coach Randy Carlyle was saying Saturday, it didn't matter so much that the Red Wings juggled their lines in Game 4 to put Marian Hossa with Johan Franzen and Valtteri Filppula, forming an explosive trio that produced four goals and seven points in a series-tying victory.

As Carlyle saw it, the Red Wings could have sent out Ted Lindsay, Alex Delvecchio and Gordie Howe -- average age over 80, though Lindsay probably still throws a mean elbow -- and might have won because the Ducks were so woeful defensively, especially around their net.

That's not an insult to Hossa, a dynamic winger who's so intent on winning the Stanley Cup that he took less money last summer to play in Detroit than he might have gotten elsewhere.

"No matter who they put together, we know they have world-class players to put in and out in those situations," Carlyle said Saturday.

The Ducks' problem is that the Red Wings' superior skill and depth, unrealized in the early going, have come to the forefront as the series has progressed, putting Detroit in position to seize control when the series resumes today at Joe Louis Arena.

Seeing Hossa on the so-called second line and Pavel Datsyuk reunited with sometime linemate Henrik Zetterberg and abrasive winger Tomas Holmstrom wasn't a surprise to the Ducks. It just turned out to be an unpleasant sight.

"It just gives them a different look and maybe gave them that spark last game to start getting them on the board," Ducks center Andrew Ebbett said.

If that was the start of something big for the Red Wings, the Ducks will have their hands full today and in Game 6 in Anaheim on Tuesday. A seventh game, if necessary, will be played next Thursday in Detroit.

The Ducks were outshot, outhit and outplayed for most of the first three games but won twice because of a power play that capitalized on its rare chances, staunch defense and Jonas Hiller's unassailable goaltending. A quick whistle by referee Brad Watson on Hossa's apparent tying goal in Game 3 helped too.

That luck and those strengths outweighed the Ducks' shortcomings until late in Game 3, when Detroit began producing waves of quality chances. After a slow start in Game 4, Coach Mike Wang mixed his lines and the Ducks began making errors in coverage and judgment. The timing could be coincidental -- or connected.

Hiller looked vulnerable on several shots, but Carlyle blamed him only for Franzen's first goal. He said he pulled Hiller and replaced him with Jean-Sebastien Giguere at 2:46 of the third period because "it wasn't warranted that he continue to play," and because he wanted Giguere to get some playing time.

"If we decide to go in that direction he's not coming in cold," Carlyle said, refusing to identify which goalie will start -- and, for good measure, displaying his usual charm in declaring that it's not the media's business to know.

It's likely, though, to be Hiller. He's the guy who carried them this far. His defense will have to help him now if the Ducks are to keep going.

"We didn't have good enough coverage. There was too much space for Hossa," Carlyle said.

"You give quality players the number of chances we gave up in that game, where he scored the goals from were basically areas that were critical in coverage and we weren't there. We've got to be better in our coverage of those players in that area.

"We could have done some things differently, but we expected their will to be at the highest level, and they provided that."

That means the Ducks' will must be stronger. And even that might not be enough.

The biggest plus for them is the possible return of rugged defenseman James Wisniewski, who missed Game 4 while recovering from the bruised lung he suffered Tuesday when he was hit in the chest by a shot.

He practiced all-out Saturday, staying on the ice after most of his teammates exited, and afterward pronounced his chances of playing today as 50-50. "I feel real good, but we'll see how things go overnight," said Wisniewski, who will be examined by team doctor Craig Milhouse today.

"I had no pain at all. I was maybe just a little short of breath, but I hadn't skated in five days. I rode the bike fine, and everything. I'm pretty happy. I bounced back quick."

The Ducks can only hope they will do the same today.

They have no choice.

"It's definitely a big game, a must win," center Ryan Getzlaf said. "We're playing a team that if we get behind in this series it can be a long way to catch up.

"So that's going to be our focus, to try and steal one and go back home."

If they lose, they'll face the end of their season. They weren't expected to make the playoffs or beat San Jose in the first round. Having done that, they're not ready to go out yet.

"We have to play better. There's no secrets," Teemu Selanne said.

"They were better. We were not that hungry that we were expecting to be and that's got to change."

helene.elliott@latimes.com

asq2

asq2
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I missed the last game. Is Rafalski playing?

davetherave

davetherave
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asq2 wrote:I missed the last game. Is Rafalski playing?

You can get all the injury information at CBSSports.com. Link here:

http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/gamecenter/preview/NHL_20090510_ANA@DET


Detroit
PlayerInjury
K. DraperLower body
T. KopeckyFace
A. LiljaConcussion, knee
B. RafalskiGroin

Hockeyhero22000

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this is one of the most pivitol games in the series who ever goes up 3-2 has the extra edge to finish for game 6 and the wings had the big guns rollin last game makes it that much more difficult for the ducks to pull out the win

davetherave

davetherave
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Hockeyhero22000 wrote:this is one of the most pivitol games in the series who ever goes up 3-2 has the extra edge to finish for game 6 and the wings had the big guns rollin last game makes it that much more difficult for the ducks to pull out the win

Hossa's performance was the difference in Game Four.

The Ducks are, however, a VERY tenacious team...not at all intimidated by the Red Wings.

The Wings' injuries are also a factor.

Whatever the result today, I anticipate this can easily go the full seven games.

davetherave

davetherave
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Wisniewski is back for Anaheim which helps them today.

Hockeyhero22000

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hossa says if you shoot at hillers feet he lets out big rebounds so look for the wings to do that

Hockeyhero22000

Hockeyhero22000
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close game and smart playing by both teams through the first period

davetherave

davetherave
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Hockeyhero22000 wrote:hossa says if you shoot at hillers feet he lets out big rebounds so look for the wings to do that

Well, I would like to know how the Ducks can trail 4-14 in SOGs and still be playing to a scoreless tie.

Hiller looks as solid as ever.

IMHO some fans forget EACH playoff game is its own entity. Throw stats, etc etc out the window.

The ONLY thing that matters is...win four. Ugly if you have to.

You lose one? Forget it. Move on. Win the next one.

So a team only has to play slightly better than .500 hockey.

As Marty Brodeur once said, you play each game in increments of five minutes. Win, or at least survive, for five minutes at a time.

Interesting viewpoint.

Which is why we see so many upsets...so many comebacks...and why predictions are, essentially, for our entertainment.

IMHO so far...this one...is anybody's game.

Hockeyhero22000

Hockeyhero22000
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definitely anybodys game and hiller looks like he has quickly shaken off a bad loss to the wings...the main worry was it was his first bad loss of the playoffs but obviously he has been solid

davetherave

davetherave
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Hockeyhero22000 wrote:definitely anybodys game and hiller looks like he has quickly shaken off a bad loss to the wings...the main worry was it was his first bad loss of the playoffs but obviously he has been solid

Not surprised by Hiller's play today...he's no raw rookie. The guy is a mature, highly proficient netminder.

And in the playoffs, it doesn't matter how 'good' a win...or how 'bad' a loss is.

Win four. Move on. That's all that counts.

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