Ducks’ James Wisniewski won’t play tonight, doubtful for Sunday


Ducks defenseman James Wisniewski is well on the way to recovering from the bruised lung he suffered when he was hit in the chest by a shot during Game 3 Tuesday, though he didn’t play Thursday in Game 4 and is doubtful for Game 5 Sunday at Joe Louis Arena.

But he’s still seething over being elbowed in the head by Tomas Holmstrom while he was reeling from the shot. The Detroit winger wasn’t penalized on the play and the NHL did not impose supplementary discipline. Holmstrom has said he hadn’t seen Wisniewski nearby.

“I looked back and I see it was a blatant elbow and I was just hunched over, coughing up blood,” Wisniewski said Thursday after the Ducks’ morning skate. “I get a blatant elbow, not even battling or anything. It shows a little bit of a gutless player. One of their players. I’m not mentioning any names.”


Wisniewski didn’t buy Holmstrom’s claim that he hadn’t seen the defenseman when he jabbed his left elbow.

“I saw three different replays and if you see it, he looks over his left shoulder and gives a nice little elbow right when I’m just hunched over and not even doing anything,” Wisniewski said.

“If he says he didn’t, I actually have to believe him, but you can see it. If it was Chris Pronger I think all you media guys would make this a big deal about how dirty the Anaheim Ducks are.

“But it’s the Detroit Red Wings. I guess it’s all OK.”

The Red Wings didn’t skate Thursday morning and weren’t available to address Wisniewski’s contention.

Wisniewski said he was prohibited from engaging in strenuous physical activity until today, and that he will ease his way back in by riding an exercise bike after the Ducks arrive in Detroit.

He says he agrees with the cautious approach of doctors.

“You can play through a bad shoulder, a pulled groin or maybe a couple broken bones,” he said. “But when you’re talking life and death you kind of want to make sure everything’s 100%.”



Power-play stress

In the first three games of the series, the Red Wings had four power-play goals in 14 chances -- more success (28.6%) than during the regular season (25.5%).

Detroit had the NHL’s top-ranked power play.

Yet, the Red Wings scored only one power-play goal in six tries after the second period in the series.

“I think the biggest thing is they are so patient with the puck,” said forward Rob Niedermayer, one of the Ducks’ penalty killers. “They wait you out and seem to always find that open guy. You just want hopefully not to take that many penalties.”

As for the limited success the Ducks have had, Niedermayer said, “I think we’re trying not to give too much open space and not let them get set up.

“You give a power play like that too many chances, they are going to score.”