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by Anthony Perez / Arizona Coyotes
GLENDALE -- The Coyotes welcomed the Detroit Red Wings to the Valley for Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday night with 60 minutes of physical play.

The Coyotes outhit Detroit 43-20 in a 3-2 victory. Coyotes Head Coach Dave Tippett said his team needs to continue to play physical but smart in order to win the series.

  Dave Tippett
“We don't want to run around crazy to try and be physical," Tippett said. "What we want to do is make sure we're playing hard. When we have a chance to finish a check, we have to finish a check, but not finishing a check that's going to take you out of position.”

Coyotes captain Shane Doan and defenseman Ed Jovanovski combined for 16 hits. Doan said the Coyotes need to continue their physical play to counter Detroit’s skilled players.

“It’s something that you recognize how talented they are, how good they are, and if we’re going to have success we have to make it hard on them,” Doan said. “Jovo and I have been talking about how it’s been a long time since we’ve both been here (in the playoffs) and we want to make the most of it.”

Jovanovski said that a tight, physical style of play is very crucial in the NHL postseason.

“I think being physical is part of the game, but it seems to ramp up in the playoffs,” Jovanovski said. “It’s one of those things, it’s been there and it will always continue to be there.”

The Coyotes are a better team when they’re a physical one.

“We’re a team that when we’re involved physically it seems like we’re more in tune with the game,” Jovanovski said. “It’s something that we plan to continue on doing.”

Doan said playing a physical game is just another way to help the team win.

“For me, I know the puck hasn’t been going in the net the way I’ve wanted it to, so I’ve got to try to contribute otherwise, and if I can be physical I’m going to try to continue to do that,” Doan said. “I know I’ll contribute offensively, but until it (the puck) starts going in I’ve got to continue to do everything else.”

Jovanovski said that his physical play is a matter of letting the opposition know that he’s on the ice.

“You don’t want to take yourself out of plays in that way, but I think if there’s any time to get a bump on someone, I think you have to do it,” Jovanovski said.

He added, “Especially their big guns, their back ends with (Nicklas) Lidstrom and (Brian) Rafalski playing 25-plus minutes a game. You’re not putting them through the boards, but letting them know you’re there. Hopefully by the third period it wears on them a little bit.”

Tippett said his team will continue to be physical for the remainder of the playoffs. In order for his team to win games, they have to rack up the hits.

"I think that's one of the ways we have to play to be successful," Tippett said. "We'll continue to be physical.”

The Coyotes and Red Wings will play Game 2 on Friday at Arena. The puck drops at 7 p.m.
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