DETROIT – Quick update from practice Monday at Joe Louis Arena.
Coach Mike Babcock looks as if he’ll juggle up one of his top two forward lines, moving Danny Cleary up to play with Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen. That left Todd Bertuzzi playing on the third line with Justin Abdelkader and Drew Miller.
Nicklas Lidstrom also looks as if he’ll begin Game 4 Tuesday night back being paired with Ian White. Jonathan Ericsson will skate with Kyle Quincey.
Wings goalie Jimmy Howard said in the locker room that he doesn’t feel he needs to steal a game in order for the Wings to win.
“I’m not thinking like that at all,” Howard said. “I think I need to go out there and give a little bit more. Not a lot just a little bit. We’ll find the back of the net. We’re two really close teams out there. We’re serving back and forth here, we have to go out and take care of business tomorrow night.”
Nashville goalie Pekka Rinne made 41 saves in Game 3, 18 of which came in the third period.
“When your standing down there, not getting much work at all, you’re thinking to yourself you have to come up big for the guys at least once,” Howard said. “I make the save last night and you look a lot better than you do.”
Howard gave up a 2-on-1 goal to Sergei Kostitsyn in the third period to give the Predators a 3-1 lead and give Nashville a 2-1 lead in the best-of-seven Western Conference quarterfinal series.
“Every playoff game is a must win,” Howard said. “It’s a sprint to 16. When we drop the puck tomorrow night we need to play like we did the last five minutes of the second period and all of the third. It seems whoever scores first wins and whoever it playing catchup hockey isn’t sticking to their game plan.”