CHICAGO - Pavel Datsyuk's scoring has been way down during the Detroit Red Wings' run at another Stanley Cup. And now the star center and MVP finalist has a sore foot to deal with headed into Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
Datsyuk missed practice yesterday before the Red Wings departed for Chicago, but his coach and teammates were hoping he'd be able to go against the Blackhawks tonight.
Datsyuk was struck by a puck during Detroit's 3-2 overtime win in Game 2 on Tuesday night.
"He took a rocket off the foot the other night. We'll go from there and see what happens," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said.
"He's day-to-day, simple. We'll see how his foot reacts."
Datsyuk, who had 97 points in the regular season, has scored one goal in 13 playoff games. He did have an assist in Game 2, giving him two in the series and six in the postseason.
But despite his scoring drought, the Red Wings lead the series 2-0 and are two victories away from returning to the Stanley Cup finals.
And Datsyuk is just one of the top Red Wings' players struggling to score. Marian Hossa, who had 40 goals in the regular season, has managed four in 13 playoffs games.
"As long as you win, it's all good. But we still find a way to put ourselves on the scoreboard," Hossa said.
Datsyuk will be evaluated after a morning skate and if he can't play, the Red Wings were ready to make some adjustments. During practice, Valteri Filppula replaced Datsyuk on a line with Hossa and Tomas Holmstrom.
"We'll have to pick up for him all over the ice," Detroit goaltender Chris Osgood said, should Datsyuk have to sit out.
"I expect him to be out there," Detroit's Nicklas Lidstrom said. "But we haven't relied on him solely to carry the team so far in the playoffs. The depth has been the thing."
PENGUINS 7, HURRICANES 4
PITTSBURGH - Evgeni Malkin put Pittsburgh ahead for good by scoring twice in the third period as part of his first three-goal playoff performance, and the Penguins opened a two-game lead in the Eastern Conference finals.
Sidney Crosby scored a record-tying sixth goal to start a playoff game.