Mikael Samuelsson along with Brian Lashoff are the only lineup changes the Detroit Red Wings will make for tonight’s playoff game against the Anaheim Ducks at Joe Louis Arena.
Samuelsson suffered an injury plagued year missing 41 games of the regular season and has been a healthy scratch for the first two games of this series. He’s expected to play on a line with Cory Emmerton and Patrick Eaves and on the point with Detroit’s second power play unit.
“We’re going to watch him, see what happens and if he plays well, he’ll play a lot,” said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock about Samuelsson. “When you haven’t played its lightning fast out there, not lightning fast for your legs, but lightning fast for your mind.”
A skilled player, Samuelsson will add a wicked shot from the point on the power play, but he expects to keep his game simple at least for now.
“Play a simple game, skate hard and hit guys, that’s where I am going to start and hopefully get a feel for the puck once in a while,” said Samuelsson.
Todd Bertuzzi was scratched from the lineup in favor of Samuelsson. Lashoff excited to play
With Danny DeKeyser on the shelf for the remainder of the playoffs with a broken right thumb, an opportunity has been created for another Wings rookie defenseman, Brian Lashoff.
After today’s morning skate, Babcock had little apprehension about inserting another rookie into the Wings lineup, indicating that Lashoff is ready and in the perfect situation.
Lashoff is looking forward to seeing his first career playoff action.
“There’s no reason for me to be nervous at all,” said Lashoff. “I’ve been skating and working out a lot. I have watched a lot of video, so there’s no reason why I can’t come in and contribute and help the team win.”
It’s expected that Lashoff will be paired with Jakub Kindl.
Babcock on having last change
So much has been made about match-ups in the playoffs you would think that the Wings have a distinct advantage tonight with them having the last change.
Even though Babcock tries to match lines, he believes it’s the players that dictate whom they play against.
“When your guys play good, whether you’re at home or on the road, a lot of things happen,” said Babcock. “The better your team does the more in control you are.
“When he (opponent) starts chasing the game, you get all the match-ups you want.”
Face-off for Game 3 is 7:30pm; catch all the action on FOX Sports Detroit.