The Phoenix Coyotes aren't quite sure how they found themselves buried in this 0-3 hole against the Detroit Red Wings. But one thing is perfectly clear: What they've been doing so far hasn't been working.
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The Coyotes spent two days plotting, planning and psyching themselves up for a big win in Game 3 on Monday, attempting to turn the Western Conference quarterfinal series into a real horserace. But before they even broke from the starting gate, they fell down two goals just 2:41 into play -- and their best-laid plans were in shambles.
They weren't Pavel Datsyuk, between-the-legs, twist-and-shout goals. Detroit's Ruslan Salei and Drew Miller scored hard-working, a-little-help-from-shin-pads-and-seat-cushions goals. But they are exactly the kind of tallies the Coyotes have relied on all season.
Now, not only are they not getting those goals, they are ending up behind struggling goalie Ilya Bryzgalov and pushing them closer to postseason extinction.
"I'm wondering, 'How can this happen?'" said Bryzgalov, who has allowed 12 goals in three games and has looked less and less confident as the series has gone along. "We expected it to be different, not down 3-0. I just want to win one game. We have to start with that."
Bryzgalov will be back between the pipes when the Coyotes attempt to extend their season and make the Red Wings at least break a sweat in Game 4 on Wednesday night. But the forward lines -- who headed an offense that ranked fifth in the NHL in even-strength goals during the season, but have just two in three playoff games -- could be in for a major shakeup.
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