Coyotes at Red Wings Game Recap
By: Chad Lynch
Photos courtesty of the Detroit Red Wings
In the first period, the opening three minutes were played at a slower pace as the teams felt each other out, but after an interference penalty to Dave Scatchard, the Red Wings turned up the pressure on the Coyotes penalty killing unit. This time, the well-rested penalty killers were able to quell the Detroit attack and keep the Red Wings from taking the early lead.
Phoenix would take the early lead in first when Mike Comrie jammed a loose puck past Detroit netminder Manny Legace at the top of the crease for a 1-0 lead. Dave Scatchard and Paul Mara assisted on Comrie's 20th goal of the season.
Three minutes later at 9:54 of the period, the Coyotes extended their lead to 2-0 when Boyd Devereaux, parked at the front of the net, took a pass from Steven Reinprecht at the side of the net and tipped the puck past Legace, into the top corner of the net for a two-goal Coyotes lead.
The Coyotes still has some scoring left in the tank as Dave Scatchard snapped a wrist shot from the slot that beat Legace over the glove hand to establish a 3-0 Phoenix lead.
With 3:28 to play in the first, while the Coyotes were trying to kill off 50 seconds of a five-on-three Red Wings power play, Detroit finally found a way past goaltender Curtis Joseph when Pavel Datsyuk sent a shot from a steep angle at the left side of the net that beat Joseph to cut the Coyotes lead to 3-1.
Over the final three minutes of the opening frame, the Wings tried desperately to cut the Phoenix lead to a single goal, but the Coyotes held off the attack and skated off the ice after 20 minutes of play, holding a 3-1 lead.
The Red Wings began the second period on the attack and it didn't take long for the aggressive play to pay off for Detroit as Brendan Shanahan was left alone at the front of the net and allowed to accept a pass and lip the puck over the glove of Joseph for his 29th goal of the season, to make it a 3-2 contest.
Just when it looked like the Coyotes were beginning to take back some of the momentum, a hooking call on Coyotes defenseman Denis Gauthier at 7:03 of the second, gave the Red Wings another power play and shifted the balance back to Detroit. On the penalty kill, "Cujo" made a series of highlight saves to preserve Phoenix's one-goal lead.
As the period continued, the play of the Phoenix forwards began to pickup as aggressive fore-checking led to turnovers in the Detroit zone. At the other end of the ice, the Coyotes defensemen began to tighten the reins and keep some of the pressure off Joseph.
The red Wings helped the Coyotes cause with a pair of minor penalties, which allowed the Coyotes to play with the man-advantage, but even with the extra attacker, Phoenix was unable to regain the two-goal lead.
While not as flashy as the first period, the second period was just as exciting and when the period came to an end, the Coyotes headed to the locker room still holding onto a 3-2 lead.
The Coyotes had a great scoring opportunity at the three minute mark of the third period, when captain Shane Doan took the puck wide of the net, drew Legace out of position and tried to feed a pass back to the front of the Detroit net, but the puck was covered by the body of Legace before Phoenix could register a shot on goal.
Phoenix went back on the power play at 4:47 of the third when Tomas Holmstrom was sent to the box for holding. On the man-advantage, the Coyotes met a stingy penalty-killing unit of Detroit and were unable to mount much of a sustained attack on the Red Wings net.
With 12-minutes left in the third, Detroit's Justin Williams took his own trip to the penalty box, giving the Coyotes another opportunity on the power play. This time the Coyotes wouldn't let the opportunity pass them by as Zbynek Michalek's wrist shot from the blue line was tipped in front of the net by Mike Comrie, allowing the puck to bounce off the ice, past Legace and into the net, giving Phoenix a 4-2 lead. Comrie's third period goal was his second of the game and team leading 21st of the season.
The Coyotes found themselves shorthanded with 8:31 to play in regulation when Geoff Sanderson was called for hooking. Once again, the Coyotes penalty killers did an outstanding job keeping the big guns of the Red Wings in-check and off the scoreboard until Sanderson could leave the box and return Phoenix to full strength.
Detroit had a golden opportunity to cut the Phoenix lead to one for a second time when the Wings were given a penalty shot with 5:03 to play when Curtis Joseph's stick, which was at the top of the right face-off circle after being knocked out of his hands moments earlier, was swept to the boards by Shane Doan in an attempt to keep the loose stick out of play, but rather than getting out of the way, it interfered with Nicklas Lidstrom and as a result, Mark Mowers was given a penalty shot. On the one-on-one break, Mowers missed the net on the left side, keeping the Coyotes up by two.
Phoenix capped off the night at 15:51 of the third when Doan pounced on a loose puck inside the Detroit zone and lifted a shot over the stacked pads of Legace and into the top half of the net for a 5-2 lead. After Doan registered his 21st goal of the season, the fans at Joe Louis Arena began to file-out of the building, as the outcome was no longer in question.
The final minutes of the contest quickly ticked off the clock as the Coyotes cruised to a 5-2 win.
After missing over two months of action due to an ankle injury, Coyotes defenseman Derek Morris returned to the ice on Tuesday night.
Showing no lingering effects from his surgery, Morris logged 18:15 of ice-time in the Coyotes 5-2 win over Detroit.
TRADE DEADLINE APPROACHES
The NHL trade deadline is set for Thursday, March 9, 2006 at 3:00 p.m. EST (1:00 p.m. local time.)
The Coyotes will return to action on Thursday when the team travels to Columbus to take on the Blue Jackets.
The game time is scheduled for 5:00 p.m. and will not be broadcast on local television. Fans can catch all the action on KDUS-1060AM and on phoenixcoyotes.com by clicking on the "Listen Live" link in the Game Day section.