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>>caption: DEREK MORRIS LINES UP HIS
SLAPPER FOR THE GW-PPG<<
@ GLENDALE, AZ:
The Coyotes abused the Red Wings
physically and dominated on special teams
to post a 3-2 win in the opening game of
the NHL playoffs.
Phoenix scored on its first three power
plays and held Detroit to just 1-for-6 with
the extra man.
Coyotes captain Shane Doan was especially
destructive in dishing out punishment to the
Detroit invaders. Doan was credited with nine
hits as the D-Dogs outhit Detroit 43-20.
In the playoffs for the first time in eight
years, the Coyotes won the first game of the
post-season for the first time since 1992 when they were still the Winnipeg Jets.
Detroit allowed 3-PPG against for the first time since their season-opening
series vs St. Louis in Sweden way back in October.
Two 3rd-Per non-calls left the Wings feeling less than pleased when Darren
Helm was interfered with on the game-winning goal and when Capt. Nick Lidstrom
was sticked in the mouth by Vernon Fidler of Phoenix and no penalty was called.
(Lidstrom took five stitches in his upper lip and on-ice officials claimed it was a
teammate's stick which struck Lidstrom.)
However, Phoenix earned it in that 3rd-Per, disrupting the Detroit attack by
clogging the passing lanes and outshooting the Wings 20-10.
Even with the wide discrepancy in final frame SOG, the Red Wings outshot their
hosts 40-35 over 60-mins. Iyla Bryzgalov made 38-SV and improved his career NHL
post-season record to 10-5 in 17 appearances. Detroit's Jimmy Howard made 32-SV
in his first ever NHL playoff game.
Detroit struck first on a gift goal by Tomas Holmstrom (#1) at 12:17/1. Holmstrom
(#1) wristered from atop the left circle and Bryzgalov simply froze on the flip-shot and
the puck flew over his glovehand.
Keith Yandle (#1) tied it for Phoenix just 10-sec into their first power play at 14:13/1
when his left point shot deflected off Detroit DEF Brad Stuart and into the top right
corner of the net.
The Red Wings entered first intermission with a 2-1 lead when Lidstrom (#1) slapshot
from the middle, just inside the blueline, and the puck went through the legs of two
Detroit teammates before passing Bryzgalov at 16:27/1.
Wojtek Wolski (#1) retied the contest 2-all at 6:15/2. Detroit overplayed the left side,
so Yandle fed the puck to Wolski in the right circle for a Brett Hull-like kneeldown one-timer.
Like the first Phoenix goal, the third came off a man-advantage faceoff win. Playing
left wing, Helm was knocked to the ice off the draw, leaving the shooting lane wide open
for Derek Morris, who made no mistake. Alone in the high slot, Morris (#1) burried a
slapshot for the GWG at 2:19/3.
Phoenix played puck control most of the rest of the way.
R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK: I thought it was a game we coulda had...We gotta
play better and we gotta play harder longer...You gotta give them credit. They got
stronger as the game went on...They got momentum when they scored on the power
play...We gotta be more physical...This is a good team we're playing...It's gonna be
a battle...Our special teams have to be better...the third [goal against] should have
been an interference penalty...Obviously, I didn't see [the game] the same as the
R-WINGS GOALIE JIMMY HOWARD: "First one they got a nice bounce, second one nice
pass [a] one-timer, third one Morris unloaded it."
R-WINGS DEF BRAD STUART: "Our PK kind of let us down tonight, which is disappointing
because we've been so good lately. They won some faceoffs and were putting the puck
on net...I thought we had a good start, almost the first full two periods I thought we
were pretty good. Third period looked like we kind of sat back a little too much.''
R-WINGS DEF/CAPT NICKLAS LIDSTROM: "We knew they were going to play hard,
especially in their building...I thought we responded well. We were moving the puck
really well [in the first two periods]. We were trying to chase at the end of the game.
That's tiring. You have to be creative, you have to make plays."
R-WINGS Rt-WING TODD BERTUZZI: "They're a good team. They're fourth for a reason.
We had enough chances to score...[we] just got to bear down when we get those
chances in front of the net."
COYOTES H-COACH DAVE TIPPETT: "The second period we got our legs under us a
little bit and I thought the second and third period was more like our team. I still
think we can be much better."
COYOTES DEF DEREK MORRIS: "We believe we can come back from any score, and
we don't believe we're out of any game."
COYOTES DEF ED JOVANOVSKI: "It was nice to come out today and do the basics,
move the puck around, get shots on the net and good things happen when the little
Johan Franzen assisted on Lidstrom's goal to give him 42-P in 40 career NHL
Lidstrom's goal was his 47th in Stanley Cup competition, second among active
players to Mark Recchi of Boston who has 50. Lidstrom tied HoFamer Mark Messier
with 236 playoff games-played, second on the all-time list to former Red Wing Chris
Chelios at 266.
Wings DEF Niklas Kronwall was in the penalty box for two Phoenix goals and on
the ice for the other.
The Wings and Coyotes were the NHL's two hottest teams entering post-season.
Detroit was 16-3-2 after the Olympic break and Phoenix 13-4-2.
The Red Wings had won their last nine playoff series opening games.
Counting regular and post-season, Wednesday was the eighth straight win by
Phoenix ended the regular season 0-for-20 on the power play.
Detroit opened the playoffs on the road for the first time since 1991.
The Red Wings are 1-0 vs Phoenix and 2-0 vs Winnipeg/Phoenix in previous playoff
Game two is at Phoenix late night Friday.
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