-- Down 4-1 in the third period and hurtling toward a sixth straight loss, the Phoenix Coyotes
dug deep, rallied for their biggest win of the season and left their captain duly impressed.
Mikkel Boedker, Ray Whitney and Martin Hanzal scored during a wild third-period rally, with Hanzal's goal with 1:57 left in regulation tying the game 4-4 and forcing overtime. Radim Vrbata capped the comeback with the only goal of the shootout, giving the Coyotes a wild 5-4 win against the Detroit Red Wings -- snapping a five-game losing streak with a flourish before an overflow crowd of 17,382 at Jobing.com Arena.
“It was like the scene in that Monty Python movie where the guy is screaming 'Bring out your dead, bring out your dead' and finally we decided to scream out that we're not dead yet," Doan said. "We had a lot of chances in the first two periods, but nothing was going right for us. When you've lost five in a row, it's hard to keep going.
“But everyone in the room kept going, and that's the only way you can come back to win a game like this."
Hanzal, who missed Thursday's game with a lower body injury, went against doctor's orders Saturday and played 18 minutes. He tied it by swatting in a Vrbata shot that hit him before dropping at his feet in the slot.
"I was very close (to not playing), but I'm glad I did," Hanzal said. "I was talking to the doctor and he was doing some tests on me and I was told I shouldn't play. I took the warmup and I was feeling pretty good and I gave it a try. I was struggling at first but I was getting better every shift and I knew I could play my game."
Phoenix goalie Ilya Bryzgalov overcame a shaky start to make 23 saves and didn't allow any goals during the shootout, although both Jiri Hudler and Todd Bertuzzi helped by hitting the post. Bertuzzi drilled the iron on the Wings' final attempt, handing Detroit its third straight loss and sending the Wings home from a five-game trip with a 2-1-2
Kyle Turris also scored for Phoenix, which won for the first time since Feb. 22 to improve to 78 points, jumping the Coyotes to fifth in the Western Conference playoff
The Red Wings looked like they were in for an easy night when Drew Miller scored on a 60-foot wrister that Bryzgalov swung at and missed with his paddle just 2:04 into the game. When Phoenix's snake-bit special teams allowed a power-play goal to Johan Franzen and a shorthander to Darren Helm, Detroit had a three-goal lead and all the momentum after two
But Detroit coach Mike Babcock said knew his team was playing vulnerable hockey.
"Let's be honest, the score of the game early flattered us," Babcock said. "There is a way to play to be successful, we know it, but until we get our heads around doing it, we're not going anywhere. I think the team that worked the hardest the longest time won.
"There gets to be a point in your season where you've got to decide if you think you're a championship-caliber team. There is a right way to play, and unless you get 23 guys doing it the same way, nothing is going to happen."
The Coyotes outshot Detroit 36-26 and dominated play for much of the night, but Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard was spectacular during the first two periods, making 21 of his 33 saves and stopping both Whitney and Doan one-on-one before robbing Hanzal with a great toe save.
Franzen followed Miller's goal to make it 2-0, scoring for the first time in 15 games - dating back to his five-goal explosion against Ottawa on Feb. 2.
Phoenix coach Dave Tippett then juggled his lines, putting youngsters Boedker, Turris and Brett MacLean together, and the move got the Coyotes going. MacLean set up Adrian Aucoin for a shot from the point that was blocked in front, but the puck slid to Turris, who picked the far corner for his 11th goal.
“The one thing they can do is play with pace and when you play against Detroit, you know they are going to play fast," Tippett said. "Our kids jumped in and played well together. That could have been the best game Kyle Turris has had all year."
The Coyotes held Detroit to one shot in the first 11 minutes of the second period, but couldn't beat Howard and the Red Wings made them pay. Valtteri Filppula banked in his own rebound off Bryzgalov's back at 15:47 before Helm scored with a shorthanded snapper at 19:47 to put Detroit in apparent control.
But the Coyotes kept coming in the third period and finally got some results, with the help of a blunder by the Wings. Jakub Kindl and Helm flubbed a pass with Howard behind the net, giving Boedker an open net at 2:50 for this second goal of the season.
"I think that second one gave them a lot of momentum," said Detroit captain Nicklas Lidstrom, who had two assists to tie with Phoenix's Keith Yandle for the most points among NHL defensemen with 54. "After that they kept throwing pucks at the net, they weren't giving up at all."
At 14:34, Turris feathered a pass to Whitney in the slot, and Whitney's 13th goal pulled the Coyotes within one and had the Phoenix fans shouting down the many Red Wing rooters in the building. Hanzal took a boarding penalty with 4:27 left, but came out of the box, camped in the slot and swatted in his 16th goal at 18:03 to get Phoenix even.
That sent the teams to overtime for the third time in four meetings this season, and the Coyotes finally won one to split the season series with the Wings - who beat them in seven games in last spring's playoffs.