Babcock gives Modano news prior to morning skate

DETROIT — Wings veteran forward Mike Modano learned this morning that he was going to be a healthy scratch tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes.

It’s the second time this season Modano has been a healthy scratch. He sat on April 3 against the Minnesota Wild.

“It’s a huge decision with who he is and his career,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We brought him here for this.”

Modano missed 41 games this season after he lacerated his wrist on Nov. 26 in Columbus.

He wound up playing just 40 games this season registering four goals and 11 assists.

“He’s out of Game 1 and he’s got to get himself ready for Game 2,” Babcock added. “I imagine it was very tough for Mike. It wasn’t easy for myself of the coaches to make this decisions either. But in the end it’s not about Mike Babcock or Mike (Modano) it’s simply about the Red Wings and we’re going to do whatever we can to help our self win.”

In 174 career playoff games Modano has 58 goals and 87 assists.

“It’s tough,” Modano said after the morning skate at Joe Louis Arena. “I just need to continue to do what I’m doing. You want for the call and hopefully you can take advantage of it.”

Modano learned he wasn’t playing prior to the morning skate.

“(Mike) explained it to me and I totally understand it,” Modano said. “It’s up to me now that if I get an opportunity to not give him a reason to take me back out. It’s something I’ll worry about when that time comes around again.”

Modano came to Detroit in search of a second Stanley Cup before retiring.

“It’s been a difficult year and a difficult season,” Modano said. “I played catchup at the spring and trying to get up to these guys, but at that point everybody was pretty solidified in their lines and everything was going.

“You needed to do something extraordinary to get in there,” Modano added. “If that chance comes I will try and take advantage of it.”

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