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Morning Skate: Game 4 - Do or Die

The NHL keeps telling us that "History Will Be Made."  Well, if the Wings want to win this series, history truly will have to be made.  Only three teams in NHL history have come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a playoff series.  In fact, just last year the feat was accomplished when the Flyers came back to beat the Bruins.  We almost saw it happen again this year in round one, when the Blackhawks forced the Canucks to a game 7, but fell short in overtime.

We've seen this script before.  We've seen it with these two exact teams.  Last year, down 3-0, the Wings came out firing behind The Mule and won 7-1.  They fell short in game 5, losing the game 2-1 and ended their postseason run.  Will 2011 be more of the same?  We'll find out. 

Puck drop is at 7p ET.

More after the jump.




The Expected Lineup


Johan Franzen -- Pavel Datsyuk -- Tomas Holmstrom

Todd Bertuzzi -- Henrik Zetterberg -- Danny Cleary

Jiri Hudler -- Valtteri Filppula -- Justin Abdelkade

 Kris Draper -- Darren Helm -- Patrick Eaves


Nicklas Lidstrom -- Brad Stuart

Brian Rafalski -- Jonathan Ericsson

Niklas Kronwall -- Ruslan Salei


Jimmy Howard (starting)

Joey MacDonald


Scratches: Jakub Kindl, Chris Osgood, Drew Miller and Mike Modano.

Aces: Brendan Smith, Tomas Tatar, Ilari Filppula, Jan Mursak, Derek Meech, Brian Lashoff, Doug Janik and Jordan Pearce

No the Red Wings won't be playing with 14 forwards in this game.  I added everyone to the lineup who will potentially play in game 4.  Hell, you might as well add Kindl to the lineup too.  This team is down 3-0 and I have no idea if Babcock will completely shake things up.  I wouldn't be shocked to see Modano in.  I wouldn't be shocked to see Miller back in.  I wouldn't be shocked to see absolutely no changes at all.  Bottom line, regardless who plays, every player that hits the ice must put forth 100% effort on every single shift. 

UPDATE: No lineup changes for tonight's game.


3.11 (7th) GOALS PER GAME 3.29 (4th)
2.78 (T-9th) GOALS AGAINST PER GAME 2.57 (5th)
15.8 (10th) POWER PLAY % 25.9 (4th)
77.8 (T-10th) PENALTY KILL % 69.7 (15th)
3 tied with 4 goals GOAL LEADER 2 tied with 3 goals
2 tied with 9 points
POINTS LEADER Pavel Datsyuk (9 points)


Key to the Game: Everything.  Be great in every area of the game (especially the PK).  The Wings are on the brink of elimination.  There is no reason to hold back now.  Everything you've got for 60 minutes.  Win every race.  Win every puck battle.  Shoot, shoot, and shoot some more.  Forget you're in a huge hole and just play balls to the wall and don't leave any regrets on the ice.

Match-up to Watch: Nicklas Lidstrom vs. whomever he's covering.  When you watch this game, watch The Perfect Human as close as possible.  We have no idea the result of tonight's game and it could very well be Lidstrom's last in a Red Wings sweater.  Regardless the outcome, enjoy what could be our last moments of Nick's greatness.  

For Discussion: From Khan(!)..."0-10 in playoff series in which they have fallen behind 3-0. They have been swept in all but two of those series."

Bottom Line:  Win. This. Game.


Let's Go Red Wings.