Wings are meeting challenges
Detroit is set for Game 5 battle in the desert
Moments after he led Detroit to a series-tying shutout victory on Tuesday, Wings goaltender Jimmy Howard said he’s going to try to forget about the win.
“I’m going to enjoy it for a couple minutes, then I’m going to do what I did the other night,” Howard said. “Forget about it and get ready for Friday night.”
Yet there are things the Wings should remember from Game 4, and build on as prepare for Game 5 in Phoenix on Friday.
While the Wings committed seven penalties Tuesday, they also held the Coyotes’ power play off the score sheet. The Wings played more than 11-minutes down a skater to the Coyotes, and didn’t allow a goal. And in possibly the defining moment of the game, the Wings killed off a five-on-three situation halfway through the third period to preserve their lead.
At the same time, the Wings’ offensive leaders found the back of the net. Henrik Zetterberg’s two goals bracketed Pavel Datsyuk’s one-timer blast that put the game out of reach for the Coyotes. The Wings were one-for-three on their power-play chances.
Zetterberg said the key to having success in Phoenix will be to keep things simple.
“We have to go down and play solid hockey,” said Zetterberg, the league’s playoff scoring lead with five goals. “Good road hockey and not do so many mistakes, just make sure that we play solid and have patience. If the special teams keep being good, we will have a chance.”
However, the Wings will be facing a confident group in the Coyotes. When asked if there were any positives his team could take out of their two-game stay at Joe Louis Arena, defenseman Ed Jovanovski said the Coyotes still have the advantage of location.
“We have home ice, that’s all I can say to that,” he said. “We came in here and we got home ice back, and we’ll regroup tomorrow, get some rest, and get back at it Friday.”
Coyotes forward Robert Lang reminded reporters after Game 4 that the series is still tied.
“The series goes on,” Lang said. “It’s 2-2 and we’re going home. Hey, look at the bright side. We split the games here. They had beat us 7-4 the second game at home, and I think everybody pretty much wrote us off right after that. But we came back and had a better Game 3.”