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Coyotes hope Doan will be ready for Game 5

by Jerry Brown
GLENDALE, Ariz. – The Coyotes have home ice back for Friday's pivotal Game 5 with the Detroit Red Wings in their Western Conference Quarterfinal series. Whether they will have captain Shane Doan back as well remains to be seen.

While his teammates enjoyed their first day off of the series, Doan was at Arena getting treatment in hopes that the extra day will be enough for him to return Friday night -- when the winner can put the loser in the brink of elimination.

"He's getting treatment and we'll have a better read on him tomorrow when he comes to practice," Phoenix coach Dave Tippett said of Doan. "He's in good spirits I think things are moving along in the right direction. Whether he'll be able to play Friday or not probably won't be determined until Friday morning.  We'll continue the treatment and hopefully he comes around the way we're hoping."

The same could be said for the Phoenix power play, which will probably be in for some treatment at Thursday's practice. The Coyotes were 0-for-6 on the power-play in the 3-0 loss in Game 4, wasting a 17-second, 5-on-3 advantage without testing Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. Since scoring on their first three power-play chances of the series, the Coyotes have failed on 14 consecutive chances while the Red Wings have at least one power-play goal in each game.

The Coyotes were successful in two areas on the power play in Game 1 -- winning key faceoffs in the attack zone and getting traffic in front of Howard. Neither has been seen since, and Doan, down since early in the second period of Game 3, is a key component in the latter.

"Our execution needs to improve in many areas, the power play included," Tippett said. "Whether it's making the key play or capitalizing on the right chance at the right time, our puck play on both the 5-on-5 play and on the power could have been much better. If we can improve in execution, hopefully both areas will improve for us."
Howard got the best of Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in Game 4, although it was a 1-0 game late in the third period and the Coyotes had golden opportunities on the power play before the Red Wings salted away the game with goals by Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg just 25 seconds apart.

"Bryz has been solid. He's made key saves at the key time for us and kept us in the game," Tippett said.

Tippett said the Coyotes would have stayed off the ice Wednesday regardless of who they won or how they played in Game 4.

"Any time you can get physical and a mental rest in a series like this you have to grab as much energy as you can," he said. "It's a good chance to step back, make sure you are rejuvenated and get ready to go.

"We're down to a best-of-3, we've got two games at home and hopefully we can make the best of it."

The Coyotes win a franchise-record 29 games on home ice this season and have a .707 winning percentage at Arena. They are 1-1 in the playoffs and can win the series by holding serve in their building. Another sold-out, White Out crowd is expected for Game 5 and both teams should benefit for an extra day in a physical, grueling series.

"Our fans give us a great boost and we've used that as a motivating factor all season," Tippett said. "We have to defend home ice and used it to our advantage. It's a very, tight, competitive series and so far we're deadlocked."

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