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Tampa Bay Lightning coach accuses Detroit Red Wings of cheating

By
Alex Butler

TAMPA, Fla., April 28 (UPI) -- Tampa Bay Lightning head coach Jon Cooper took the precarious position of calling out the Detroit Red Wings for cheating Saturday.

Cooper called the Red Wings experts in interference and getting away with the pulling and grabbing of Lightning players without having penalties called.

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"There are 30 teams in the league and nobody does [interference] more than the Detroit Red Wings, hands down," Cooper told the Tampa Bay Times. "The old saying is, 'If you ain't cheating, you ain't trying.' They do it to a 'T'.

"My message to our guys is you've got to suck it up, got to fight through it. And if they're bringing it, you've got to bring a gun to a knife fight. That's how it has to go. So to get on them, we have to be better."

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Red Wings forward Drew Miller responded to Cooper's comments.

"They might not be happy with what we're doing, but usually when things make someone not happy they're effective, so I don't know if that's a penalty or what they're thinking it is, but it's the way we play, and I don't see it changing," Miller told CBS Detroit. "Maybe he's just trying to rile his guys or put a thought in the referees' heads or something, I'm not sure. It's just a situation that I'm not really worried about. That's just, that's a coach talking."

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The series (3-3) wraps up at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Amalie Arena in Tampa Bay.

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