Last word from Coyotes-Wings

April, 20, 2010

DETROIT -- One notable change Tuesday night was Daniel Cleary replacing Tomas Holmstrom on the Red Wings' top forward line with Pavel Datsyuk and Johan Franzen.

"I change it every year at this time of year, so it doesn't make any difference," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said after Detroit's 3-0 win in Game 4. "From game to game, just whatever works. It was just one of those situations we didn't think they were playing with enough pace. Homer is a real battler and a net presence but doesn't skate as good as Cleary, so we changed them tonight. Who knows what we do for Game 5 with the matchups going their way."

No Doan, big difference

The Coyotes didn't muster much offense with captain Shane Doan out because of injury.

"Obviously missing Shane is a big part of our group, but we have to have people step in and do the job," Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said. "There are areas [where] we need to do a better job. There were too many turnovers. I think our execution part can be a little bit better."

Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said Doan was a big loss for the visiting team.

"He's a big part of their team; he's their leader and their captain," Lidstrom said. "When he went out the other game, it didn't seem to bother their team, but I'm sure they're missing their leader on their team."

Red-hot Zetterberg

Wings star forward Henrik Zetterberg has five goals in the series.

"He's been playing real well," Lidstrom said. "I think he's just been getting better and better for us. He's strong on the puck, plays hard at both ends of the ice and he's out there late in games. He's killing penalties, and he's on the power play setting goals up. He's a big key to our team."

Babcock had sort of singled Zetterberg out Monday for long shifts, and the star responded.

"He's been real good at playoff time each and every year," Babcock said. "He seems to score at a higher rate, and obviously it's real important when your best players play well. I thought Pav [Datsyuk] had a real good night tonight. For us to be successful, those guys have to generate offense, no question about it."

Don't talk to Jimmy

Asked whether he had talked with rookie goalie Jimmy Howard to inspire his shutout Tuesday night, Babcock said no.

"I didn't talk to him. I haven't talked to him hardly all year except to say, 'Hey, how are you and where did you get your suit?' That's Jimmy V's job; he looks after all those guys. I mean, I talk to the kid, and once in a while I'll say, 'It's about the next stop,' but he knows that. He doesn't need to hear it from me."

Pierre LeBrun

ESPN Senior Writer



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