Three Questions: Wings-Coyotes
DRW.com's Michael Caples analyzes the Wings' 29th game
This answer is pretty simple when a team ties the game with 21 seconds left in regulation. The Red Wings found themselves on a late powerplay while trailing by one, and coach Mike Babcock put his top guns out to generate something to force overtime. Henrik Zetterberg jumpstarted the play by holding in the puck when the Coyotes tried to clear, throwing himself in the way of a slapshot rimming around the boards. He will need some ice after the game, but he sacrificed his body to get Marian Hossa the puck behind the net. Hossa made no mistake with the puck, finding Johan Franzen right in front of the Phoenix goal with a great pass through a crowd. Franzen buried his shot, recording his second goal of the game and sending the game to overtime, where the Red Wings capped off the 5-4 comeback win in the shootout.
What was the best individual play of the game?
His second goal of the game was the thrilling game-tying marker, but Franzen’s first goal might have been even better. The Red Wings were staring down a Phoenix powerplay six minutes into the second period, but Franzen still found a way to put the puck in the net. The ‘Mule’ capitalized on a fumbled puck by Mikkel Boedker at the Detroit blue line; he grabbed the puck out of midair and was off to the races. Flying down the right side of the ice, Franzen cut back towards the slot, and beat Phoenix goaltender Ilja Bryzgalov by snapping a quick shot before the netminder expected.
What was the biggest news coming into the game?
Future hall-of-fame defenseman Chris Chelios is back. Chelios, who sits at ninth place on the all-time defensive scoring leader list, missed the first 28 games of the season after suffering a fractured tibia in the preseason. The 46-year-old worked hard during the opening part of the season to get back into game shape, and after a short stint with the Grand Rapids Griffins (the Wings’ AHL affiliate) he was back in the line-up Saturday night – to skate in his 25th NHL season. Chelios played in just over ten minutes through regulation, spending the majority of his time even-strength (only 26 seconds of penalty-kill time). However, expect his ice time to steadily grow as he gets more accustomed to NHL action.