GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) _ Brian Boucher and Eric Westrum helped the Phoenix
Coyotes earn a surprise point Thursday night.
Westrum scored his first NHL goal 2:11 into the third period and Boucher
made 46 saves to lift the Phoenix Coyotes to a 1-1 tie with the Western
Conference-leading Detroit Red Wings.
The tie extended Phoenix's winless streak to 14 games but allowed the
Coyotes to finish the season series with Detroit 1-1-2.
Phoenix is 0-8-3-3 and 2-16-4-4 since consecutive wins over San Jose and
Detroit in late January.
Brendan Shanahan scored his 557th career goal for the Red Wings, who moved
four points ahead of Colorado in the West. When Los Angeles lost at home to San
Jose later Thursday night, Detroit became the first Western Conference team to
clinch a playoff spot.
Shanahan just missed a second goal with two-tenths of a second remaining
when his shot bounced past Boucher off Mathieu Schneider's skates, but referee
Mike Leggo had blown his whistle just before the puck went in.
``The referee said he thought the puck was covered and he intended to blow
the whistle so the play was dead as soon as he intended to blow the whistle and
not when he actually did blow it,'' Shanahan said. ``It was a quick whistle.
Even though he didn't blow it, it was a quick intention to blow the whistle.
``I guess the rule is as soon as the ref intends for the play to be dead the
play is dead.''
The preceding minute featured three end-to-end rushes by both teams as
Phoenix enjoyed a 72-second power play.
After Detroit cleared the puck off a Phoenix rush, Boucher skated out of the
net to play a puck in the right faceoff circle then scrambled to glove the puck
as the Red Wings chased the puck into the zone.
Seconds later, Red Wings goalie Curtis Joseph cut off a long Phoenix rush by
gloving the puck near the left circle and skating halfway to center ice before
dropping the puck and passing to Shanahan streaking down the left side.
``It was a veteran move,'' Phoenix coach Rick Bowness said. ``He did a
pretty good quarterbacking job working his team up the field.''
Detroit, which lost in Calgary on Tuesday, has not lost consecutive games in
regulation since dropping three straight at the end of October. The Red Wings
haven't lost consecutive games since dropping two straight to Boston on Jan. 7
and Jan. 10.
Phoenix is 0-7-2-3 since Bowness took over for Bobby Francis on Feb. 24.
Shanahan broke a scoreless tie when he beat Boucher off a faceoff from just
inside the top of the right circle at 11:40 of the second period.
Shanahan moved past longtime Boston captain John Bucyk into sole possession
of 17th place on the NHL scoring list.
Westrum tied the game after Joseph made a sprawling save of Fredrik
Sjostrom's initial shot. Joseph dived to poke the puck away from the top of the
crease after the save but Westrum took the puck off the goalie's outstretched
stick, took a stride to the right and shot into the open net.
``I was kind of tied up, so I just had to come in and try to take my man,''
Westrum said. ``I saw Freddy get a shot on net and it was just sitting there
and I could have picked or chose where I wanted to put it. I just wanted to
make sure that it was in the back of the net.''
Boucher almost single-handedly kept the game tied during a late third-period
Red Wings power play. Boucher turned away three shots, another three just
missed the net, and the goalie played 10 seconds without his stick after it was
knocked behind him while he was sprawled on the ice.
``It has been a struggle, so it is nice to get a good game under my belt,''
Boucher said. ``It's hard to stay positive, but certainly when you have
performances like this, hopefully it can boost your moral.''
Detroit outshot Phoenix 21-7 in the third period.
Shane Doan had a chance to end the Coyotes' winless streak with 1:46
remaining in regulation but Joseph stopped him.
``The best save of the game was on Doan,'' Detroit coach Dave Lewis said.