DETROIT – Quick update from the Detroit Red Wings’ morning skate prior to Game 4 at Joe Louis Arena against the Anaheim Ducks.
Wings coach Mike Babcock will not breakup Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk from the top line, instead he’ll insert Mikael Samuelsson to play alongside them.
Todd Bertuzzi, who played in Game 2, will play on the fourth line with Cory Emmerton and Patrick Eaves.
“I am going to start (Samuelsson) there and I can put Bert in there as well so I have two options that way,” Babcock said. “I’m going to watch the game and see what happens. After watching last game we never got to the net, never shot the puck, weren’t on the inside and weren’t heavy enough. All those things are a challenge for our whole team not just Samuelsson.”
Samuelsson played on the fourth line in Game 3.
“It’s a good opportunity,” Samuelsson said. “I’m excited about it. It’s going to be fun.
“I’ve been here before, I’ve played with good players,” Samuelsson added. “I know what they’re capable of and I’ll try to find some open spots.”
Justin Abdelkader also addressed the media for the first time after his hit on Ducks defenseman Toni Lydman in Game 3.
Abdelkader was suspended two games by the league on Sunday.
“I want to reiterate that on Saturday there was no intent to injure,” Abdelkader said. “I don’t mean to injure anyone, put anyone at harm. I have respect for every one of the players in this hockey league. It’s a privilege that we get to play in the NHL. I play a hard game, I play physical. It’s a fast game. Things happen really fast out there. Like I said there was no intent to injure and I hope Lydman is back tonight. I’m not sure. I haven’t heard an injury report.”
Anaheim coach Bruce Boudreau said Lydman won’t play tonight. Sheldon Souray will take him spot on the blue line.
“I hope he’s back right away and he’s not injured,” Abdelkader said. “It’s an unfortunate play. I play a hard game, I play physical. I’m going to still play my physical game, get in on the forecheck, finish checks, but I’ve got to be smart about it. The speed of the game, it happens so fast. It’s unfortunate what happened.”