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Faceoffs, special teams fail Wings

Sunday, 04.25.2010 / 6:21 PM ET / News
By Michelle Crechiolo  - Intern
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Faceoffs, special teams fail Wings
DETROIT – The Red Wings’ special teams didn’t come through Sunday, and that cost them the chance to close out the series.

The Phoenix Coyotes scored one even-strength goal in a 5-2 win – they also scored three power-play goals and one short-handed – over Detroit in Game 6 to force a deciding Game 7 on Tuesday in Phoenix.

The Wings finished the night 0-for-5 with a man-advantage, and allowed Phoenix to capitalize on 50 percent of their power play attempts.

“That’s probably the game right there,” admitted Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg. “If we would have scored one or two on those chances, the outcome would have been a little different. Their power play was better than ours tonight, their penalty kill was better than us, I think that’s the game.”

Although Phoenix’s first goal was a shorthanded tally early into the first period, the Wings weren’t discouraged.

“You still look at it as, it’s only one goal,” Wings captain Nicklas Lidstrom said. “You still have a chance to score one and you’re right back in the game again.”

But pair that with failing to score on a 5-on-3 power play that lasted for 70-seconds in the first period, and it’s hard to gain momentum.

“I think specialty teams let us down today,” said Wings forward Darren Helm, who finished the regular-season tied for fifth in the league with three shorthanded goals. “On the power play we didn’t score, on the penalty kill we gave up way too many, and that’s just not good enough right now.”

Before Sunday, the Wings had killed off 19 consecutive power play attempts by Phoenix.

FACEOFF FAIL: Winning important face-offs was what gave the Wings the edge over Phoenix in their 4-1 win in Friday’s Game 5.

In Game 6, it was the Coyotes who won the draws when it mattered most, especially in the Wings’ defensive zone.

“I thought (Friday) most of our goals came off face-offs,” Helm said. “That happened (Sunday) for them.”

After the Wings had climbed within one – after a Brad Stuart tally made the score 2-1 – Detroit lost two face-offs directly in front of rookie goalie Jimmy Howard about five minutes apart that resulted in two quick goals for Phoenix.

“That’s a key part of games,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “So you got to win face-offs, there’s no question about it that they’ve given us trouble in this series with that.”

Helm said they Wings know that they have to improve on that aspect of the game in order to win Game 7 and advance to the Western Conference semifinals.

“The faceoff circle is really important,” he said. “Our centermen’s got to bear down and make sure we’re not giving up that draw easy, and making sure that we’re winning it back.”


H. Zetterberg 77 17 49 -6 66
P. Datsyuk 63 26 39 12 65
T. Tatar 82 29 27 6 56
G. Nyquist 82 27 27 -11 54
J. Abdelkader 71 23 21 3 44
N. Kronwall 80 9 35 -4 44
R. Sheahan 79 13 23 -3 36
D. Helm 75 15 18 7 33
D. DeKeyser 80 2 29 11 31
S. Weiss 52 9 16 -2 25
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38 is the official Web site of the Detroit Red Wings. Detroit Red Wings and are trademarks of the Detroit Red Wings. NHL, the NHL Shield and the word mark NHL Winter Classic are registered trademarks and Original Six is a trademark of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Detroit Red Wings and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.
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