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Sharks rule forward Bill Guerin out of Game 5 because of facial injury

Guerin took a puck in the face late in the 3-2 Detroit overtime win Wednesday that evened the series 2-2. He remained in California when his teammates flew east. Game 5 is Saturday (2 p.m. ET). Steve Bernier will take Guerin's place on a line with Patrick Marleau and Patrick Rissmiller.

"With Billy Guerin being out the next game, we have to try to find some chemistry," Wilson said after practice Friday. "Hopefully, Bernie can help Patrick get going."

They've been linemates before.

"We should know where each other is going," said Marleau.

Wilson knocked his players for lack of defensive diligence after they blew a 2-0 Game 4 lead. They should be between the puck and their net in defensive situations, said Wilson. He didn't name names, but Marleau is a team-worst minus four on the plus-minus scale.

"Definitely," Marleau replied when asked if he needs to check more effectively. "Some crucial plays, I've been out there for, and I just need to be on my side of the puck.

"You know when you're out there when you make a mistake and you know you have to be better."

He's not going to let it bug him.

"It's playoff time and you can't dwell on mistakes in the past," he said. "You've got to look forward. If you dwell on it, more mistakes are going to happen."


MALTBY RE-SIGNS: The Detroit Red Wings have re-signed forward Kirk Maltby to a three-year contract.

"It actually happened before the playoffs," Maltby said Friday. "But I didn't want to talk about it and we were on the same page."

The native of Guelph, Ont., one of four players who have helped Detroit win the NHL championship three times in the last 10 years, has one assist in 10 playoff games this season and 28 points in 129 career post-season games, all with the Red Wings, since 1996.

Since making his debut with the Edmonton Oilers in 1993, Maltby has 233 career points.


LONG SERIES: Detroit has one of the best home records in the NHL, and San Jose is best in the league on opposition ponds. Thus the unpredictability of the outcome of each game. Each team has won a game in the other's rink through four games.

"If you'd asked me before the series, I'd probably would have said it would be 2-2 and it'd be a best-of-three," said Sharks coach Ron Wilson. "That's a team over there that never gives up, and we have to realize that.

"They're pretty relentless."

Said Wings coach Mike Babcock: "We want to win. If that means 50 minutes of ugliness and 10 minutes of greatness, that's what we'll do."


GENIAL JOE: Who said this?

"It's all peaks and valleys, peaks and valleys. You just stay on an even keel and let the games behind you be behind you and really look forward to and get excited for the next game." - Joe Thornton just before he stepped into the showers after practice Friday.


HAPPY HASEK: Ask him about the trials and tribulations of overtime, and Red Wings goalie Dom Hasek shrugs.

"I don't think about it too much," says the 42-year-old Czech. "It's just the next period.

"In the overtime, you know you can't do mistake. One mistake and it's over. So you play maybe a little bit more cautious. One mistake can cost you the whole game. It's lots of pressure but I enjoy it."

Having knotted the series 2-2, the Red Wings were in a light-hearted mood during practice Friday.

"We were maybe a little bit looser just because we won but tomorrow we have to be very focused," said Hasek. "We had fun in the practice today but tomorrow it's work and we need to do our job again."


CAN'T FORGET: There is a lingering feeling of disappointment among the San Jose Sharks after twice losing to the Red Wings after blowing 2-0 leads in the series.

"That doesn't feel that good but who said it was going to be easy?" said goaltender Evgeni Nabokov.

The Sharks have to stop retreating when they get a goal or two ahead, he said.

"That's what is killing us. We want to fix that."


HAPPY HOLMSTROM: After missing the first three games of Detroit's second-round series against San Jose with an injured left eye, Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom was elated to score a goal in his team's 3-2 win in overtime Wednesday.

Holmstrom said Friday that he has no lingering problem with the eye.

"It was tough being on the sidelines watching three games," he said. "It was great to get back and start playing again."

As for Game 5 Saturday: "We need a good start. Both our games at home were terrible starts. We've got to come out and play like we do usually in the second and third periods. That would make a big difference."

He believes in momentum, which the Red Wings have now.

"Yeah, for sure," said Holmstrom. "They had a 2-0 lead and we came back and won in OT.

"We've done it so many times. They seem to score the first goal and we battle back. It'd be nice to get the first goal."


LEBDA SKATES: Defenceman Brett Lebda, who hurt an ankle during the first-round series against Calgary, skated for the first time in more than a week Friday. He'd like to talk coach Mike Babcock into letting him play Saturday, but Babcock says there's no way he'd rush Lebda back into the lineup.


NEW TIE: Mike Babcock is sticking to his superstitious use of neckties during NHL games - never wear the same one twice - despite the good luck brought him and the Red Wings by a McGill University tie.

Babcock wore a tie from the Montreal school he attended in the 1980s during a playoff game against San Jose last Saturday, and the Red Wings rallied to win. Babcock hasn't worn it since.

"One time," he replied when asked if the McGill tie would make a reappearance.


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