Game 5 wrap: Wings win, but still hurting
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Johan Franzen didn't play a shift in the third period Sunday night.
"He kind of tweaked his ankle," said Red Wings coach Mike Babcock after Detroit's 4-3 comeback win against San Jose on Sunday night. "I didn't want to play him anymore. It's been hard for The Mule. He's a star at playoff time and playing on one leg has been tough for him."
Babcock said he would leave it up to Franzen if he feels fit enough to play Tuesday night in Game 6.
Meanwhile, Pavel Datsyuk was dynamite Sunday with three assists despite talk he might be nursing some kind of hand/wrist injury. The fact he didn't take a single faceoff Sunday suggested something is wrong. Not that Babcock would confirm that.
"He just didn't feel like taking them," Babcock joked when asked why Datsyuk didn't take any faceoffs.
"Whoa, whoa, whoa. I'm OK. I'm fine," Datsyuk said when asked about a possible wrist problem. "Anyway, I'm not a shooter. It doesn't help me anyway. My job is to chip in goal, hit somebody hard."
The Sharks went 0-for-4 on the power play, now going two straight games without a goal on the man advantage, which, not coincidentally, has resulted in a pair of Red Wings victories.
"We spent a little too much time breaking out and they blocked a lot of shots," said Sharks coach Todd McLellan, who also credited Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard for being a difference on the Wings' penalty kill. "I think our power play can be better. When you look at the people we put on the ice and the experience that they have and the numbers they've put up over the past three years, we can be better. We need our power play. They'll be challenged to produce and at least create a little more momentum than we have coming off it."
The Wings adjusted their penalty kill after Game 3 and it has paid dividends.
"It saved us tonight. We did a real good job on it," said Babcock.
The Wings believe the tide has turned a bit now after two straight wins, but a better effort is needed to keep the miracle comeback going.
"We're happy to move this to a Game 6," said Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom. "We've got some momentum, but we have to come out [Tuesday] and play the way we did in the third period. We can't play the way we did the first two periods. They were taking the game to us early on."
And finally ...
Sharks winger Ryane Clowe, with a beauty of an assist for Joe Pavelski's second-period goal Sunday, is now tied with the league lead in playoff scoring with 13 points (4-9). Joe Thornton had an assist in Game 5 to give him 10 points (2-8) in the past nine games.