Could this be Lidstrom’s last season? “It’s not over yet,” Danny Cleary says.

DETROIT – Could Tuesday night have been the last time Wings fans will have seen Nicklas Lidstrom skating at Joe Louis Arena?

If Detroit doesn’t win Game 5 in Nashville it might well have been.

“It’s obviously nothing we talk about,” Brad Stuart said. “I don’t know what his plans are, but I’m sure he’ll like to have another (Stanley Cup) before it’s all said and done. We all feel the same. I don’t know if there’s any extra motivation because of that because we all want the same thing really.”

Lidstrom, who will turn 42 at the end of April, has never missed the playoffs in his career with Detroit. He has won four Stanley Cups and is a seven-time Norris Trophy winner.

“I think everyone wants another Cup,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “We don’t know if he’s going to retire or not either, so he might have two under his belt.”

Lidstrom won’t announce his plans for next season until after this season is complete, just like he did last year when he decided to come back for another season.

“He’s fantastic,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Here he is, he’s 41-plus, turns 42 April 28, you’re playing, never mind … and then to be as good as he is, he’s fantastic. He’d probably tell you he doesn’t recover like he did when he was 20 or 25 or even 35 but he’s still a pretty good player and important to us.”

Lidstrom, who has played in 262 NHL playoff games in his 20-year career, has yet to record a point in the series. The Wings are trying to keep him as fresh as possible by keeping him on the bench during penalty kills.

Tuesday night could have also been the final game at home for Tomas Holmstrom.

“I try not to think about that,” Holmstrom said. “I’m just going to enjoy the playoffs.”

But if you listen to Danny Cleary, Lidstrom and Holmstrom have at least one more game to be played at Joe Louis Arena.

“Well, I think we’ve got lots to lose, including the series,” Cleary said. “I think everybody in here – and we’ve got some older guys – and we want to make sure that we put a good effort out there and it’s a big game for us Friday. Right now we’ve forgotten about these last two games and we’re going to move on and get ready to go.

“It’s not over yet,” Cleary ended.

And that came from Lidstrom after the game.


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