Penguins Notebook: Scuderi respects Lidstrom's shot
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The Penguins knew Detroit's team well from their meeting in the Stanley Cup final in June, but defenseman Rob Scuderi gained even more insight on the Red Wings' Nicklas Lidstrom when the teams met Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena.
"He's got a good shot, I'd say," Scuderi said after the Penguins' morning skate yesterday.
Lidstrom, widely considered the top defenseman in the NHL, took a long, high windup and let loose a slap shot early in the game.
It traveled maybe 12 or 15 feet and hit Scuderi on the outside of his left foot. He tried to return later in the game but couldn't.
Scuderi participated in the morning skate, saying the foot was "still a little sore," and again in the pregame warm-up last night before being cleared to play against the Philadelphia Flyers at Mellon Arena.
"It's more of a comfort level," Scuderi said of the foot, which was not broken by Lidstrom's blast.
"The trainers feel it's nothing serious. If you're not able to perform at this level, we have another guy who could easily come in and perform at this level."
That would be Mark Eaton, who was a healthy scratch three of the previous four games but returned last night, with Darryl Sydor being the defenseman to sit out the game. The other Penguins scratch was winger Paul Bissonnette.
As for Lidstrom's shot, Scuderi would rather not relive it.
"I haven't seen the replay, but I didn't have to to tell you how it felt," he said. "It was a pretty solid shot. I'm just grateful it wasn't something serious."
Motor City rivalry blooming?
There's no shortage of examples from past years of the depth of the Penguins-Flyers rivalry, but Philadelphia coach John Stevens thinks a new chapter was added last spring.
"I think it's pretty heated -- two teams in the same division who have played in the playoffs," Stevens said. "I'm a true believer that the rivalry really gets steam once you play each other in the playoffs, because there's so much at stake."
The Penguins beat the Flyers in five games in the Eastern Conference final before taking on Detroit -- a series that Stevens believes spawned yet another rivalry for the Penguins, especially after what he saw from Tuesday's game in Detroit.
"I think that's the same with Detroit, facing each other in the finals for all the stakes last year," Stevens said.
Top ratings for Versus
The Penguins' come-from-behind, 7-6 overtime victory Tuesday in Detroit was the most-watched NHL game on Versus, reaching more than 360,000 households.
In Pittsburgh, the rematch between last season's Stanley Cup playoff finalists had a rating of 5.8. In Detroit, it was 3.3. Versus was the top-rated cable network in both markets between 7-9:45 p.m. that night.
The Penguins are scheduled to appear on Versus eight times, including Tuesday's home game against Minnesota.
The Flyers played without center Daniel Briere, who left Tuesday's win against the New York Islanders because of a groin injury. He had just returned last weekend from abdominal surgery. Philadelphia's other scratch was winger Riley Cote. ... New items will be added today to the Bid for 66 online auction at www.mariolemieux.org. The auction runs through Thursday and features items such as signed Penguins memorabilia. Proceeds benefit cancer and other medical research through the Mario Lemieux Foundation. ... Penguins general manager Ray Shero and his wife, Karen, will serve as honorary co-chairs today at groundbreaking reception for the National Aviary's new penguin exhibit.
First Published November 14, 2008 12:00 am