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Red Wings hold off surprising Coyotes surge, take 2-0 series lead with 4-3 win

Apr 16, 2011, 4:21 PM EDT

Ilya Bryzgalov AP

At one point, it looked the Detroit Red Wings would earn a 2-0 series lead via an absolute throttling. The Red Wings built their lead to 4-0 early in the second period, but the Phoenix Coyotes rode some golden power-play opportunities to three unanswered goals.

It wouldn’t be enough to bring the game to a tie, but Ilya Bryzgalov and the Coyotes might have a little more confidence as the series switches to Phoenix.

Detroit 4, Phoenix 3; Red Wings lead series 2-0.

The biggest story of the game was Pavel Datsyuk‘s outstanding play, as the world-class center scored a goal and provided three assists. The Russian forward seemed like he was virtually everywhere on the ice, creating chances and causing havoc down to the buzzer.

While Datsyuk contributed to all four Red Wings goals, Shane Doan factored into each Coyotes tally, scoring two goals and one assist. Actually, three Phoenix players factored into the three goals, as Radim Vrbata scored twice and added an assist while Keith Yandle had three helpers.

All three of those Phoenix goals came on man advantages, a point that will surely be the topic of discussion at the Red Wings’ next charter conspiracy theory club meeting. Detroit fans might gripe the most at Doan’s first goal, which came in the waning moments of a 5-on-3 power play that looked pretty listless up to that point.

Doan was a big factor even when he wasn’t scoring, as he delivered the hit that sent Johan Franzen to get 20-plus stitches. Don’t expect that hit to go through the review process, though. On the bright side, Franzen seems fine, even if he might not look the part.

It looked like Ilya Bryzgalov might get the hook after Detroit made it 4-0, but Dave Tippett stuck with him nonetheless. That gamble could pay off because the Russian netminder played lights-out after that, making some big saves when things were especially grave to give Phoenix a reason to believe they could come back.

Will that be enough of a boost to help the Coyotes turn things around now that Games 3 and 4 are at home? We’ll have to wait and see, but they certainly feel better about their chances now than they did about 90 minutes ago.

  1. jorben12 - Apr 16, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    That was some horrible writing by Mr. O’Brien. Or, was this one of those fill in the blank-style computer program game stories I’ve read about?
    If not, try to keep the cliches to less than 15 per story Mr. O’Brien.

  2. polegojim - Apr 16, 2011 at 5:07 PM

    The 5:3 last Coyote goal was…fortunate. It went on end and rolled in.

    That said, the Coyote’s showed hustle and desperation, but not so sure it will help. Rather, they gave it all they had and still came up short. It was a bit of sloppiness and Red Wing penalties that even gave them a chance.

    They just can’t match up against the full strength Red Wings – Detroit helped them make it a game.

    The Wings need to play smarter and stop giving Phoenix those chances.

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