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Detroit expects Abdelkader back for Game 3 against Tampa Bay
National Hockey League

Detroit expects Abdelkader back for Game 3 against Tampa Bay

Published Apr. 20, 2015 8:07 p.m. ET

DETROIT (AP) Even though they managed a split in the first two games at Tampa Bay, the Detroit Red Wings are trying to turn this playoff series around.

The Lightning have outshot Detroit handily so far, so it's the Red Wings who look like the team that needs to adjust before Tuesday night's Game 3 in Motown. Detroit expects to have left wing Justin Abdelkader back from a hand injury - he hasn't played since April 4.

''I think my game is really suited for the playoffs and I can help the team,'' Abdelkader said. ''I know what my job is out there.''

The 6-foot-2 Abdelkader scored 23 goals during the regular season, more than doubling his previous career high. His return will allow coach Mike Babcock to split up Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg.


Datsyuk was centering a line with Zetterberg at left wing and Gustav Nyquist on the right in the first two games. Now Datsyuk is expected to play with Darren Helm and Tomas Tatar, while Zetterberg centers Abdelkader and Nyquist.

''Putting (Zetterberg) back in the middle and giving him a winger, a guy that can skate and work for them helps,'' Babcock said. ''(Abdelkader's) a big body. He's an everydayer. He competes hard like Helm.''

Detroit was outshot 46-14 in Game 1 but won 3-2 behind goalie Petr Mrazek. Tampa Bay bounced back to win 5-1 in the following game.


Lightning at Red Wings, tied 1-1, Game 3, 7 p.m., NBCSN

TAKING ADVANTAGE: Tampa Bay bounced back from an 0-for-7 showing on the power play in Game 1, when the Lightning also allowed the Red Wings a short-handed goal. In Game 2, Tampa Bay had four power-play chances and converted two of them, with Tyler Johnson and Valtteri Filppula scoring with the man advantage.


Capitals at Islanders, New York leads 2-1, Game 4, 7:30 p.m., USA Network

CROWD NOISE: Capitals coach Barry Trotz has an easy answer regarding how to quiet the loud and raucous Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum crowd.

''We've got to compete harder than (the Islanders), plain and simple,'' Trotz said.

Washington has lost six straight road playoff games after Islanders captain John Tavares scored 15 seconds into overtime to seal New York's 2-1 win in Game 3.

FOURTH-LINE BOOST: The Islanders' energy line is making an impact. The so-called fourth line - which includes Cal Clutterbuck, Matt Martin and Casey Cizikas - has helped New York set a physical tone. That was apparent a couple minutes into the Islanders' Game 3 victory. Clutterbuck started with a big hit to draw a cheer from the crowd, and then Martin elicited a huge roar when Capitals defenseman Tim Gleason bounced off him and tumbled to the ice.

''They got us going right from the get-go,'' coach Jack Capuano said. ''They're not a fancy line. They're a meat-and-potatoes line.''


Predators at Blackhawks, Chicago leads 2-1, Game 4, 9:30 p.m., NBCSN

RINNE'S RESPONSE: Much of the focus in this series has been on Chicago's goaltending situation, with Scott Darling having played well in relief of Corey Crawford. But Nashville is hoping to make things easier for Pekka Rinne, who allowed four goals on 30 shots in Game 3.

''I've said all along, we're really a team by all definition,'' Predators coach Peter Laviolette said. ''They were strong off the attack, so there's things we have to do better in front of him. I think everybody's got a lot of confidence, not only in our goaltending, but in our team itself.''

VETERAN: Marian Hossa, Chicago's 36-year-old right wing, has four assists already in this year's postseason. He has 131 points in a whopping 174 playoff games in his career.

''I think you just forget about how much hockey he's played and how old he is - that sounded awful, I didn't mean to put it that way,'' teammate Jonathan Toews said. ''I guess my point is you kind of forget that he's been around, played a lot of playoff hockey and he still seems to have that passion.''


Canucks at Flames, Calgary leads 2-1, Game 4, 10 p.m., USA Network

CLEARED TO PLAY: Vancouver forward Alexandre Burrows will not be suspended due to an instigator penalty he received Sunday after an incident with Calgary defenseman Kris Russell.

Daniel Sedin said he and his brother Henrik will be glad to have Burrows on their line Tuesday.

''Our line has been, for the last game maybe not-so good, but for the first two games we played really well,'' Daniel Sedin said. ''I thought even the last game we had a few chances.''

FERLAND'S PAST: Calgary forward Michael Ferland announced on Twitter and also to reporters March 27 that he was marking a year of sobriety. Now he's contributing to his team's postseason efforts.

''A year ago I was in rehab,'' Ferland said Monday on his 23rd birthday. ''I didn't think I'd be playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs right now that's for sure.

''People always told me when I was getting help, `You'll see your life unfold in front of you. It'll be the best thing for you.' I never really understood it, but now my life is kind of starting to unfold right in front of me now, I'm enjoying it.''


AP Hockey Writer John Wawrow contributed to this report.


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