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First Round Sequel

Red Wings get Phoenix again in WC Quarterfinal

Sunday, 04.10.2011 / 4:09 PM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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First Round Sequel
DETROIT – It went down to the final day of the regular-season, but the Red Wings now know who they will face in the opening round of the 2011 Stanley Cup playoffs.

The third-seeded Wings will host No. 6 seed Phoenix when the Western Conference quarterfinals kicks off with Game 1 of the best-of-seven game series, which will be Wednesday at Joe Louis Arena.

SEE SERIES SCHEDULE

By defeating the Blackhawks Sunday afternoon, 4-3, the Red Wings helped settle the playoff seeding. The defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks can still qualify as the No. 8 seed only if the Minnesota Wild defeat Dallas in regulation. Otherwise, the Stars will be the No. 8 seed and face the Vancouver Canucks in a first round match-up.

For the ninth time in franchise history, the Red Wings will open the playoffs facing the same Round 1 opponent from the previous spring. Last season, the Wings needed seven games to eliminate the Coyotes in the opening round.

This is the fourth time that these franchises will face-off in the playoffs – all in the opening round. The Wings needed six games to dispose of the Coyotes en route to winning the Stanley Cup in 1998. Two years earlier, the Wings defeated the then-Winnipeg Jets in six games. The following season the Jets moved to Phoenix.

During the regular-season the teams split the four-game series, with three games being decided by one-goal. The Coyotes' offense may not put much fear into some, but they still have much of the same building blocks in place, led by veteran captain Shane Doan, who once again is the Coyotes’ leading scorer, reaching the 20-goal plateau for the eighth time in his 15 NHL seasons.

Coyotes goalie Ilya Bryzgalov has been shape and is once again upon the league’s best shot-stoppers. He’s seven shutouts this season is just one less than he had all of last season.

Meanwhile, the Red Wings will again counter with four 20-goal scorers in forwards Johan Franzen (28), Danny Cleary (26), Henrik Zetterberg (24) and Pavel Datsyuk (23). Yet, it’s still unknown how much Zetterberg will be able to contribute since he’s listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury suffered last Wednesday in Carolina.

On paper, it’s easy to think that the Wings have the advantage over the Coyotes in this opening round series. The Wings’ special teams were superior to Phoenix’s and they outscored the Coyotes, 257-226. However, winning face-offs will be pivotal

The Red Wings were third in faceoff winning percentage, led by center Darren Helm, who won 52.6 percent of his draws. Zetterberg, Datsyuk and Valtteri Filppula were also over 50 percent in faceoff wins.

But the Coyotes’ centermen will be formidable in the face-off circle. They’re led by Eric Belanger who was No. 12 among league centers with a 55.3 percent success rate. The Wings will also need to be aware of Vernon Fiddler (53.9) and Martin Hanzel (50.3), particularly when beginning penalty-kills in their own zone.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
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
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
J. Howard 23 13 11 .910 2.44
P. Mrazek 16 9 2 .918 2.38

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