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Holmstrom scores 2 as Red Wings top Coyotes 4-1

by John Kreiser

Tomas Holmstrom and the Detroit Red Wings spoiled the evening for a rare full house at Arena.

Holmstrom deflected a pair of shots by Nicklas Lidstrom into the net for his 14th and 15th goals as the Wings beat Phoenix 4-1 on Saturday before the Coyotes' second sellout crowd of the season.

"That's the way I score my goals," said Holmstrom, who has spent most of his career in front of the net, making life miserable for goaltenders. "Sometimes they go in, sometimes they go out.

Phoenix lost at home in regulation for the first time since Nov. 16 in front of an announced sellout crowd of 17,125 -- the Coyotes' first full house since opening night.

"In the home building, we should have been able to pull it out," Phoenix forward Robert Lang said. "We started really good and obviously they kind of came on with the first goal and kind of took the wind away from us. But we came back and just made mistakes."

The Coyotes had their 10-game home winning streak ended on New Year's Eve when they lost 3-2 in a shootout to San Jose.

"We know they've been playing real well here at home," Lidstrom said. "We wanted to play real solid defensively and try to wait for our chances. I thought we did an excellent job in our own zone."

Pavel Datsyuk added a power-play goal, and Darren Helm had an empty-netter for the Red Wings, who opened a five-game trip with their second straight win. Matthew Lombardi scored a 5-on-3 power-play goal early in the second for Phoenix, tying the game at 1-1. That was the only shot to beat Jimmy Howard, who made 35 saves as the Wings won despite having eight players out with injuries.

The Red Wings opened the scoring at 14:44 of the first period, seconds after a roughing penalty to Shane Doan expired. Holmstrom set up in front of Ilya Bryzgalov and deflected Lidstrom's straightaway shot into the net.

Phoenix tied it 4:57 into the second period when Lombardi converted Lang's cross-crease pass with Brett Lebda and Helm in the box.

But the Lidstrom-Holmstrom combination struck again with 18.6 seconds left in the period. Lidstrom's long shot from just in front of the blue line was deflected by Holmstrom from in front to put Detroit ahead to stay.

"He's just determined," Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said of Holmstrom, who will be facing his coach in the Olympics when he suits up for Sweden. "He's going to go there. It doesn't matter what they do to him, he's going to go back there. The thing about him that makes him good is he can tip the puck, he can score."

Coyotes coach Dave Tippett said the Red Wings still have a lot of talent, despite their injuries.

"The key pieces are still in place there," he said. "They got three top defensemen there. Datsyuk is as good a center man as there is in the world."

Doan was in the penalty box for interference when Datsyuk scored his 10th goal of the season on a left-circle wrister 5:51 into the third period. Helm hit the empty net with 51 seconds to play.

"I had a bad penalty," Doan said, "and you can't afford to take a penalty, no matter what the call is."

Material from wire services and team media was used in this report

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