Dec. 14, 2009 at Joe Louis Arena
Monday, 12.14.2009 / 10:18 PM ET / Features
By Michael Caples - Detroit Red Wings Staff Writer
With the game on the line, goaltender Jimmy Howard came up big for the Wings. Howard made 11 saves in the final period, and helped the Wings hold off a late flurry from the Coyotes to pick up his ninth win of the season.
Derek Meech's first goal of the season couldn't have come at a better time. The Wings' defenseman scored 2:05 into the second period, as he crossed the opposition's blue line and fired a rocket past goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov. It gave the Wings a two-goal lead, and it turned out to be the game-winner. It was a well-deserved goal for Meech, who stepped up for the injured Jonathan Ericsson and played 13:51 Monday night.
Patrick Eaves had an impressive game for the Wings Monday night. The winger played for 19:14, and made every second count. He helped the Wings jump out to a 2-0 lead when he scored shorthanded. He had four shots, two hits, and one takeaway. He also helped hold the Coyotes at bay in the closing seconds, when he sacrificed the body and blocked a shot from captain Shane Doan near the blue line.
The Wings controlled the face-off circle Monday night. The home team won 31 of 43 face-offs, good for 72 percent.
After the game, Howard talked about the pressure he and his defense faced at the end of the game. Here's what he had to say:
"You knew that was going to be the situation. They're down a goal, they're going to come at you, and throw the kitchen sink at you. The guys in front of me did a great job keeping them to the outside, and blocking shots, and when they do that that allows me to get out on the angle and just let the puck hit me."