Red Wings 3, Coyotes 2
Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:10 AM
Lindsey Ungar - DetroitRedWings.com Special WriterDETROIT
— The Red Wings had become accustomed to third-period rallies
against the Phoenix Coyotes this season.
The Wings were always able to switch on the offense, potting two goals in the third period in their previous three games against the Coyotes.
So when Detroit entered the third period down 2-1 on Wednesday night, it seemed not only plausible but also probable that another comeback was in the making.
And the fates wouldn’t have it any different.
Midway through the third period, Pavel Datsyuk
eyed Nicklas Lidstrom
, who hesitated until Tomas Holmstrom
had perfect positioning atop the Coyotes' crease. Lidstrom launched a point shot that deflected off Holmstrom’s stick, then knee, and just out of the reach of Ilya Bryzgalov’s glove.
That goal tied the contest at two.
It was almost déjà vu on the game-winning goal three minutes later. Lidstrom ripped a slapshot that found its way through traffic — with Holmstrom again screening Bryzgalov — but needed no deflection to secure the 3-2 win and sweep of the season series.
“If you’re them tonight, you probably think you could have got a better fate,” Red Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “Good points for us, tough night for them.”
The Wings' late rally wouldn’t have been possible without goalie Chris Osgood
. With just 30.4 seconds left in the third, Detroit yielded a shorthanded breakaway to Shane Doan, who came into the game on an 11-game point streak. Doan’s trickery didn’t fool Osgood, who stayed with Phoenix’s leading scorer all the way.
“I wasn’t expecting a Doug Flutie-like pass all the down to the blue line,” Osgood said. “I just tried to stay up as long as I could, and when he made the deke I just tried to get little and make sure he couldn’t slide it underneath me.”
Osgood also made a dazzling save in the opening seconds of the third after Brian Rafalski
fumbled in the puck in the slot. Osgood stopped 32 of 34 shots on the night.
The third-period reversal could also have been a byproduct of midseason scheduling. Last night, Phoenix’s 4-2 win in Columbus allowed them to squeeze into the final playoff spot in the West. League-leading Detroit had been off for six days due to the All-Star break.
|Kronwall favors his shoulder after taking a hit in the third period Wednesday. Kronwall, who missed four games earlier this season with a groin injury, will likely be out for at least a week.
“By no means did we think it was going to be an easy game,” Osgood said. “There’s going to be no easy games the second half because all these teams are fighting for the playoffs … every single time we play it’s going to be like this now.”
After Henrik Zetterberg
gave Detroit the early 1-0 lead, Phoenix notched goals in both the first and second periods to carry a 2-1 lead into the final frame. Coyote rookie Martin Hanzal converted a Niklas Kronwall
giveaway halfway through the first period, and Ed Jovanovski ripped a 50-footer through traffic to give Phoenix the 2-1 lead at 8:31 of the second period.
Kronwall later left the game with a shoulder injury and did not return.
GAME NOTES: Pavel Datsyuk
assisted on all three Detroit goals, extending his point streak to four games. … With his game-tying goal in the third period, Tomas Holmstrom
has now scored 20 goals four times in his career. … Red Wings’ defenseman Derek Meech
started his 10th game of the season with Brett Lebda missing the game with a sore arm.