Detroit Red Wings head coach Mike Babcock isn't completely shaking up his team's lineup for Game 3 of the series against the San Jose Sharks, but he is making some changes. First and foremost, Kris Draper will play on Wednesday night after being a healthy scratch the first two games of the series. He will replace Drew Miller on the fourth line.
The other noteworthy change is that Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk will be split up. During the first two games they were on the same line, but Babcock is putting them on different lines for Game 3 in hopes of generating some offense.
Here is a look at the forward lines from the Red Wings' morning skate and the expected lines for Game 3:
Johan Franzen-Pavel Datsyuk-Tomas Holmstrom
Todd Bertuzzi-Henrik Zetterberg-Dan Cleary
Justin Abdelkader-Valtteri Filppula-Jiri Hudler
-Darren Helm-Patrick Eaves
A year ago to the day, the Red Wings found themselves in this same exact situation. They came back to Detroit after losing a pair of one-goal games in San Jose and desperately needed a win. What ended up happening instead was they lost 4-3 in overtime. The Wings went down 3-0 in the series, and although they won Game 4 by a score of 7-1, San Jose eliminated Detroit in Game 5, which was yet another one-goal loss.
As the Chicago Blackhawks showed us in the first round this year and the Philadelphia Flyers showed last year, a 3-0 deficit isn't the end of the world. Comebacks can happen (at least to force a Game 7 in Chicago's case) and the Red Wings could take this series to seven games even with a loss in Game 3. That said, Detroit really cannot afford to go down 3-0. The chances of winning this series will take an enormous hit, as we saw last year. To really feel good about where they stand back-to-back home wins are necessary. To even keep the series going, however, they need at least one home victory, and the Red Wings are hoping it comes on Wednesday night.