–Mike Modano is not accustomed to being a healthy scratch, especially in the playoffs. But the 22-year NHL veteran and future Hall of Famer put his ego aside and was ready when called upon Wednesday. He stepped into the lineup and provided a spark, not looking out of place on the top line with Pavel Datsyuk and Tomas Holmstrom. He didn’t know he was playing in Game 4 until after the pregame warm-ups, when Johan Franzen’s sore left ankle prevented him from playing.
–Darren Helm’s speed, physical play and forechecking wreaked havoc on the Phoenix defense in the series. The Coyotes have a strong, puck-moving defense, but they were forced into turnovers and lost physical battles to Helm and other grinders, leading to key goals for the Wings. A huge hit by Helm led to Patrick Eaves’ first goal in Game 4.
QUOTE TO NOTE
“When an important player is out, it’s almost like you play smarter, play harder. You realize you’re missing your top offensive guys. Certainly our depth was key for this series. We’re going to need that as time goes on.” — Wings forward Dan Cleary.
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