Photo Credit: Norm Hall
COYOTES STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Mathias Tjarnqvist - (C) Mike Zigomanis- (RW) Shane Doan
(D) Keith Ballard - (D) Derek Morris
RED WINGS STARTING LINE-UP
(LW) Tomas Holmstrom - (C) Pavel Datsyuk - (RW) Henrik Zetterberg
(D) Nicklas Lidstrom - (D) Danny Markov
Phoenix - Mikael Tellqvist
Detroit - Dominik Hasek
On Saturday night, the Phoenix Coyotes were unable to overcome a two-goal deficit as they dropped a 4-1 decision to the Detroit Red Wings.
Through the first half of the opening period, the Coyotes and Red Wings combined for just 10 shots on goal with neither club taking the early lead. Due in large part to the sound defensive play at both ends of the ice, offensive pressure was hard to find with much of the game being spend I the neutral zone.
Phoenix would grab the first power play of the game at 10:37 of the first when Detroit's Niklas Kronwall was called for holding. Despite having the extra attacker, the Coyotes would only manage a pair of shots on goal with neither getting past netminder Dominik Hasek.
The first quality scoring chance came at 13:17 of the period when Detroit forward Robert Lang released a shot from the right side that beat goaltender Mikael Tellqvist and rang off the far goal post before traveling away from the net.
The Red Wings returned to the penalty box with 4:59 when forward Kris Draper was called for holding. The Coyotes offensive again generated some quality shots, but was unable to reach the back of the net.
Shortly after returning to full strength, Detroit made their final assault on the Phoenix net for the period. But just as his counterpart had done at the other end of the ice, Tellqvist stood his ground and kept the game scoreless through the first period of play.
The second period began just like the first, with both clubs struggling to generate sustained offensive pressure. When shots did reach the nets, Tellqvist and Hasek continued to add to their respective save totals, keeping the game scoreless as the halfway point in the game approached.
The Coyotes made their second trip to the penalty box at 8:44 of the second when defenseman Derek Morris was called for hooking. The penalty would prove costly to Phoenix as Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg blasted a shot from the left face-off circle the made it's way through a screen in front by Tomas Holmstrom and past Tellqvist for a 1-0 Red Wings lead.
Late in the second period, the Coyotes found themselves in penalty trouble again as Fredrik Sjostrom (goaltender interference) and Nick Boynton (slashing) were escorted to the box less than a minute apart. During the ensuing five-on-three power play, the Red Wings hounded the Coyotes net, causing havoc in front of Tellqvist and flooding the crease with shots.
Then with 1:59 to play, it appeared that Detroit had scored when a shot by Zetterberg rolled through the crease. The Red Wings' forward even lifted his arms in celebration, but the on-ice official waived off the goal and play continued. Once the next whistle came, the video replay booth took a look at the waived off goal and determined that the puck had actually crossed the goal line. As a result, Detroit was awarded a 2-0 lead and the clock was reset.
While the Red Wings still had over a minute of power play time left on the penalty to Boynton, the Coyotes were able to keep Detroit from adding to their lead as the second period came to an end with Phoenix trailing by two.
Just 25-seconds into the thirds period, the Coyotes cut the Detroit lead in half when Derek Morris delivered a slap shot from the top of the left face-off circle that Mike Zigomanis was able to deflect the shot and send it past Hasek to make it a 2-1 game. Morris received the only assist on Zigomanis' 11th goal of the season.
As the period continued, the pace of play picked up considerably, with both clubs beginning to find a rhythm offensively. Even with the improved offense the game was still being dominated by goaltending as the score to remain to 2-1.
With just over six-minutes to play in the game, the Coyotes found themselves shorthanded once again, this time on a hooking penalty to Mathias Tjarnqvist. One minute into the penalty to Tjarnqvist, the Coyotes had a great shorthanded scoring opportunity when Shane Doan took a long lead pass in the neutral zone for a breakaway on Hasek. Doan tried pick his spot on the left side of the net, but Hasek stacked the pad together and managed to keep the puck out of the net.
Moments later, the Red Wings brought the play back into the Phoenix zone where a pass form the right side of the ice, connected with Zetterberg at the left side of the net, where the Detroit sniper fired the puck past Tellqvist and into the net for a 3-1 lead. The goal was Zetterberg's 30th of the season and his first career hat-trick.
Late in the game, the Coyotes pulled Tellqvist from the nets in favor of an extra attacker. However, the Wings would once again find a way to capitalize as Justin Williams score an empty net goal with 11-seconds left in regulation. Zetterberg recorded his fourth point of the night, registering the secondary assist on the goal.
In the then end, the Coyotes were just unable to overcome the two-goal deficit and the Detroit offense was able to take control of the game down the stretch as Phoenix succumbed to the Red Wings by the final score of 4-1.