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Breakdown: Game 3 vs. Phoenix

by Staff Writer / Detroit Red Wings

By Michael Caples |

The Red Wings knew they would be facing a hostile crowd at Arena in Arizona when the puck dropped for Game 3 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals.

However, the Wings left the ‘white-out’ crowd speechless after two goals from Ruslan Salei and Drew Miller in the first 2:41 of the game.

Valtteri Filppula scored in the second period, and Johan Franzen added another in the first minute of the third, as the Wings earned a commanding three-game lead over the Coyotes with a 4-2 win.

Jimmy Howard picked up his eighth career playoff win, stopping 28 shots for the Wings. David Schlemko and Ray Whitney scored power-play goals for the Coyotes.

The Wings will look to advance to the second round of the 2011 playoffs on Wednesday in Arizona. Game 4 begins at 10:30 p.m. EDT. 

The Wings silenced the majority of the fans in attendance early in Game 3 with two quick goals. Ruslan Salei struck first, scoring on a shot from the point just 1:57 into the contest. Forty-four seconds later, Drew Miller redirected a shot from Niklas Kronwall past Ilya Bryzgalov to give the Wings the early two-goal lead.

11 Justin Abdelkader won 11 face-offs and lost only six in Game 3, leading the Wings' centermen in face-off percentage, at 65 percent.
36 The Coyotes had 36 hits in Game 3, nine more than Detroit's 27.
167 Tomas Holmstrom played in his 167th playoff game with the Wings tonight. That number ties him with Darren McCarty for fifth all-time in Red Wings franchise history.
4 Valtteri Filppula lead the Wings with four shots. Four players tied for second with three.

Jimmy Howard
30 28 2 60:00 .933

Kyle Turris
G A P +/- Shots
0 1 1 -1 0

Niklas Kronwall
G A P +/- Shots
0 2 2 +3 2

Ilya Bryzgalov
34 30 4 57:53 .882

Jimmy Howard
30 28 2 60:00 .933

Keith Yandle - D

25:12 - T0I, -2 rating

Niklas Kronwall - D

23:24 - T0I, +3 rating

The Wings started the third period with an impressive goal from Johan Franzen. He was a game-time decision due to injuries from Game 2, but that didn’t stop Franzen from putting his name on the scoresheet. The Wings’ forward took a great pass from Jonathan Ericsson, skated in on a breakaway, and fired the puck to the top shelf past Bryzgalov. It was Franzen’s second goal of the series.

The Wings posted four goals in Game 3, but goaltender Jimmy Howard did his part when called upon. The Wings’ netminder stopped 28 shots on the night. He made nine important saves in the first period as the Wings built their lead, playing a major part in the Wings able to take away the home-ice advantage for the Coyotes.

Pavel Datsyuk had four points in Game 2. While he was held off the scoresheet in Game 3, he still made quite an impact for the Wings. Datsyuk had three blocked shots, three takeaways, two hits, one shot, and nine face-off wins in the 4-2 win. The Wings' center finished plus-1 on the night. 

Darren Helm ended the second period with a bang. With about 1:30 to go in the middle frame, Helm threw Phoenix defenseman David Schlemko to the ice. The hit came deep in the Phoenix end, and it was an exhibition of Helm’s strength on his skates.

Four is the magic number for the Wings, after once again beating Bryzgalov four times. Detroit has won 55 straight playoff games, including the first three games of this series, when they have posted four or more goals.

“Well it’s just one of those things, that we have to be sure. We’re in a good situation, so you can afford to be smart with what you’re doing - try to put guys in situations where they can be successful. We had [Mike Modano] dressed and ready to go if he couldn’t go, and he felt good enough and obviously scored a huge goal for us.”

- Mike Babcock on Johan Franzen being a game-time decision and ultimately scoring for the Wings in the Game 3 win.

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