It's Lewis' perogative to change his grind

ERIC FRANCIS -- Calgary Sun

, Last Updated: 5:28 PM ET


DETROIT --  It took eight years for someone to figure out how to shut down Jarome Iginla.

 With one simple move, the Detroit Red Wings finally pulled it off yesterday.

 By adding Steve Yzerman to the trio assigned to cover the Flames sniper, Wings coach Dave Lewis evened the series 1-1, transforming the Grind Line into the Grynd Line.

 "The best way to play against (Iginla) is to make him play in his own end," said centre Kris Draper, who skated between Kirk Maltby and Yzerman.

 "Then he's got 200 feet to go before he's dangerous."

 Realizing he was playing right into the Flames' hands by giving checkers Maltby, Draper and Darren McCarty the most ice time in Game 1, Lewis replaced McCarty with his captain.

 Not only did Yzerman help keep Iginla's line off the scoresheet, the Wings legend was also the top offensive star, breaking the game open with two key goals in a 5-2 win.

 "A lot of thought went into it," said Lewis of the move that turned the Wings' fortunes around.

 "It gives that line a little bit different look and an opportunity to create some offence. Draper and Maltby with their speed and Yzerman with his smarts and his hands, they find a way to generate offence, not just defence. That was really important for us today. It worked."

 Did it ever.

 Limited to three scoring chances in

 Game 1, Iginla was unable to register a shot on goal yesterday afternoon, frustrated to the point he dropped the mitts with Derian Hatcher in the final minute.

 "They're good at their jobs," said Iginla, sporting a cut on his knuckle and several bumps and scratches from the scrap.

 "Two shots in two games ... I'm just not getting it done. But we'll adjust. We'll have to find ways to skate more. It's not easy but we knew it wouldn't be."

 Unable to manage a single scoring chance in the first period, the Flames were lucky to escape with a scoreless tie after being spanked for 20 minutes.

 Shortly after Tomas Holmstrom's nifty powerplay tip-in opened the second period, Yzerman converted brilliant passes from Mathieu Dandenault and Maltby 2:13 apart.

 "Playing at home, we could match up against Iginla but before we really feel good about it, we have to go to their building and do a good job against him," said Yzerman, 38, who spent some time on a line with Iginla at the Olympics.

 "Playing against Jarome, you always have to be aware where he is."

 They certainly were.

 Having spent some time alongside Maltby and Draper during the season, Yzerman said he was comfortable with the move when told hours before the game.

 "(Assistant coach) Joey Kocur mentioned they were thinking about it (Friday) and it was confirmed in the team meeting," said Yzerman, a 10-time all-star who has played centre his entire 21-year career.

 "When we traded for (Robert) Lang, it gave us three great centres with Draper and Pavel (Datsyuk). If we're going to play three lines, I'm going to have to play the wing or I'm not going to play."

 Yeah, right -- as if there'd be no room for Stevie, a former Selke Trophy winner who moved ahead of Ray Bourque yesterday for ninth all-time in playoff points with 181.

 The other benefit to making the move is Ray Whitney gets a regular shift, filling Yzerman's old spot alongside Lang and Brendan Shanahan, instead of being a spare part.

 "Hey, they have to be happy going home tied 1-1," said Yzerman.

 "It's their first time back there since they won Game 7 in Vancouver so the people will be sky-high."

 Not for long if Iginla continues spending all his time in the Flames' zone.


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