Red Wings’ Abdelkader puts mind over lather

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News
Detroit left wing Justin Abdelkader tries to deflect the puck past Tampa Bay goalie Ben Bishop in the first period.

Detroit — Justin Abdelkader wanted to fight but thought the better of it.

Abdelkader, who was heavily involved in Game 2 when emotions ran wild at the end, got involved in another potential altercation with Tampa Bay’s Brian Boyle at the end of Sunday’s 2-0 Red Wings victory.

But fearing another game misconduct (he got one in Game 2) or a potential injury, Abdelkader backed off.

“I would have liked to fight him but I’m not 100 percent and I had my hands taped up from last game and previous games,” he said. “I know if I cut him, it’s a misconduct and I have one so I have to be careful. I want to stand up for myself, but this time of year you have to be smart, too.”

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Boyle didn’t take kindly to Abdelkader deciding not to fight, mimicking a chicken as he skated off the ice.

“I don’t need to comment on that,” Abdelkader said. “If he wants to do that, good for him.”

Abdelkader was told by coach Jeff Blashill before the game to stay away from any fighting.

“I told him going into the game I didn’t want him to (fight),” Blashill said. “First of all he’s too valuable a player for us, so that was my instruction to him.

“Obviously there were other reasons at the end of the game why he didn’t. He’s extremely valuable to our hockey team and we want to make sure he’s on the ice playing for us as much as possible.”