Winger Viktor Stalberg healthy scratch again
BY MARK LAZERUS firstname.lastname@example.org May 18, 2013 6:38PM
The Red Wings’ Johan Franzen beats Hawks goalie Corey Crawford in the third period. | Scott Stewart~Sun-Times
Updated: June 20, 2013 4:43PM
With their fastest player a healthy scratch for the second consecutive game, the Blackhawks looked a step slow in a 4-1 loss Saturday to the Detroit Red Wings in Game 2 of their Western Conference semifinal series.
Whether winger Viktor Stalberg returns to the lineup for Game 3 on Monday in Detroit remains to be seen.
Coach Joel Quenneville said before the game that he was reluctant to change his lineup after an impressive victory in Game 1. So Stalberg, who was benched in that game for what he said was the staff’s unhappiness with his effort and performance, remained in the press box for Game 2.
And while Stalberg, a third-line winger with nine goals and 14 assists this season, wouldn’t single-handedly have changed the outcome of Game 2, the Hawks certainly could have used his speed and playmaking ability.
‘‘We’ll see,’’ Quenneville said before the game. ‘‘We can adapt, and we can change at any moment.’’
The likeliest candidate to be bumped should Stalberg return is fourth-line left wing Daniel Carcillo. Quenneville was pleased with Carcillo’s performance in Game 1, but he played only six minutes in that game and 7:40 in Game 2.
Goalie Corey Crawford gave up four goals on 30 shots, but defensive breakdowns led to at least two of them.
‘‘Across the board, we should all assume some responsibility,’’ Quenneville said. ‘‘We have to be way better than that.’’
Crawford, who gave up only eight goals in the first six games of the playoffs, said his confidence wasn’t shaken by the rough game.
‘‘Whether I played well or it’s a game you just want to forget about, it’s always about the next one,’’ he said.
Red Wings center Pavel Datsyuk had no shots in Game 1. He was much better in Game 2, particularly early, getting two of his three shots early in the first period and playing his usual responsible defense in his own end.
‘‘Pavel doesn’t have bad games,’’ Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. ‘‘He has bad shifts once in a while.’’