Penguins, Red Wings rest between games
The Penguins held an optional practice Friday at Mellon Arena with most of their regulars spending little or no time on the ice, opting for treatment and rest. The Red Wings opted not to practice in Detroit, as coach Mike Babcock said Thursday after Game 4 he regretted allowing his players to practice Wednesday on an off-day in Pittsburgh. Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final - at Joe Louis Arena tonight (8 p.m.) - will mark the fifth series game in eight days.
Babcock did not mince words yesterday regarding the status of injured center Pavel Datsyuk. "He'll play," Babcock said of Datsyuk, whose reportedly broken right foot has forced him to miss every game in the Cup Final. Datsyuk, a MVP finalist and one of the NHL's top two-way forwards, was a late scratch Thursday for Game 4.
Game 6 tix
Approximately 500 tickets for Tuesday's Game 6 will go on sale Monday at 10 a.m. Fans are encouraged to order online at Ticketmaster.com. Tickets can also be purchased by calling 800-745-3000, at all Ticketmaster locations and at Mellon Arena Gate One box office.
That play again
Penguins center Evgeni Malkin nearly struck again Thursday on the dreaded "Geno Play" that worked so well in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final against Carolina. With the Penguins leading, 3-2, in Game 4, Malkin pushed a faceoff forward against Detroit center Kris Draper, retrieved the puck himself and whipped a quick pass in front to right wing Miroslav Satan, who was on his backhand and fanned. "If (Satan) is a right-handed shot," Versus analyst Ed Olczyk said, "that's a wide-open net."
Game 5 will mark the latest the Penguins have played in any single season. Their previous latest game was Game 6 of the 2008 Cup Final, played on June 5 that year. Also, this will be only the second postseason in franchise history in which the Penguins have played at least three series of more than five games. A 1991 run to the Cup involved a seven- and two six-game series.
Right wing Bill Guerin, on the leadership he brings to the Penguins: "Hopefully, I react the right way, and guys see that, and it kind of trickles down. If we're in a tight situation, I don't want guys to see me panic."
By the numbers
6 -- Victories by the Penguins over the past two postseasons in seven road games following two consecutive contests played at Mellon Arena. Those victories include Game 5 wins this postseason at Washington and in the 2008 Cup Final at Detroit.
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