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SPECIAL TEAMS AND A SPECIAL GAME BY HOWARD.....RED WINGS 3, Phoenix 0, T 4/20/10
Posted on: 04-20-2010

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>>caption:  MINUS THE MASK, HOWIE MAKES
THE SAVE<<

@ JOE LOUIS ARENA:

    The first NHL playoff shutout by Jimmy
Howard, a pair of goals by Henrik Zetterberg
and another from Pavel Datsyuk gave the Red
Wings a 3-0 Tuesday evening victory over
Phoenix.
    Detroit evened the opening round Stanley
Cup series vs the Coyotes 2-all and now it's a
best 2-out-of-3 falls to advance.
    Howard made 29-SV including 14 in the middle period. His most harrowing
moment of the hectic 2nd-Per came when Phoenix DEF Keith Yandle blasted a
shot off Howie's noggin, knocking Howard's mask off. Coyotes FWD Lee
Stempniak was on the doorstep for the rebound. In "Old Time Hockey" style the
maskless Howard blocked Stempniak's close-in try with his left pad and then
smothered the puck.
    Howard had to be sharp because the game was tight until the final four
minutes.
    Both teams played tight-checking, lane-clogging defense. While the action
was intense, it wasn't very entertaining.
    The opening period was scoreless with video review showing Detroit's Valtteri
Filppula had failed to score for a third straight game because his shot wobbled on
the goalline, but did not entirely cross the line into the net behind D-Dogs goaltender
Ilya Bryzgalov.
    It stayed scoreless until 15:33/2 when the Wings scored a video confirmed
power play goal. Niklas Kronwall snapshot from the right point and Zetterberg
(#4) deflected the discunder the top left corner of the pipes past Bryzgalov. The
goal was originally credited to Todd Bertuzzi, which would have meant a double
deflection. The correction wasn't announced until 20 minutes after the game ended.
    For a third consecutive contest the Red Wings refused to allow Phoenix to
convert on the power play. Tuesday the Wings PK was 6-for-6 including 17-sec
of an overlapping 5-on-3 disadvantage in the latter stages of the 3rd-Per when
it was still a 1-0 game. The Coyotes had only a combined 9-SOG during their half
dozen power plays.  
    Detroit then clinched it with a pair of goals just 25-sec apart.
    Johan Franzen sent a high-low, cross-ice pass to Pavel Datsyuk in the lower
right circle. Datsyuk (#2) one-timered over the crook of Bryzgalov's catching elbow
at 15:53/3 to make it 2-0.
    Bertuzzi left the puck for Zetterberg in the left corner and Zetterberg (#5) took
a wide angle snapshot underneath a stunned Bryzgalov at 16:18/3 for the 3-0 final.
    The Red Wings outshot the Coyotes 35-29.            
    Game five is in Glendale, AZ late night Friday.

QUOTEBOOK...

R-WINGS H-COACH MIKE BABCOCK:   "[Zetterberg has] been real good at playoff time
each and every year. He seems to score at a higher rate...We felt we had to do a good
job on their defense. It's hard to get at them, but I thought our guys got to some of
them tonight and that's real important...Sometimes you don't agree as a coach with
some of the [penalty] calls. That [boarding] call on Pavel in the second period was crazy.
But you have to be more disciplined than that. You can't give a team that many
opportunities."

R-WINGS GOALIE JIMMY HOWARD:   "I wanted to feel the puck early, which I did, that
was key...I would have taken [Stempniak's shot] off the [maskless] face if I had to.
I mean, I just felt like I really needed to compete for these guys tonight and really put
forth a better effort...I'm going to enjoy it here for a couple minutes. Then, just like I
did the other night [a Gm-3 Detroit loss], forget about it and get ready for Friday night."

R-WINGS CEN HENRIK ZETTERBERG:   "“It was nice for [Howard] to get a shutout, and
kind of quiet down the critics...He's a fighter. That’s what he does. He doesn’t want to
let any pucks behind him, and I’m sure it doesn’t matter if he has a helmet on or not...
I don't know if I tipped [the first goal] or not."

R-WINGS DEF/CAPT NICKLAS LIDSTROM:   "It was great to see one [video review] go our
way...especially in a key moment in the game."

R-WINGS Rt-WING DAN CLEARY:   "This was a must-win game for us and I thought
we played with determination, we played hard and we played patient."

R-WINGS DEF BRAD STUART:   "If we didn't know it before the series, we know it now.
They are going to work hard and have good structure and we have to do the same.
I think we realize that it's not going to be easy, but I guess we had to experience it
and come to the realization it's not going to be an easy series by any means."

COYOTES H-COACH DAVE TIPPETT:   "They were a very determined team without a doubt
...I thought our opportunities were a lot from the outside. Part of that is their penalty
kill has done a good job of getting to the lanes."

OVERTIME:

    Zetterberg's five goals gave him the NHL post-season lead. Zetterberg has 5-G & 2-A
in the last three games.
    Franzen's assist on Datsyuk's goal gave The Mule points in all four playoff games.
    Detroit coach Mike Babcock energized his top forward line by replacing Tomas
Holmstrom on right wing with Dan Cleary on the Datsyuk/Franzen unit. The switch
from the fourth to the first line of Cleary made the top trio swifter.
    After Phoenix scored on their first three power plays in Gm-1, the Red Wings have
successfully killed 14 straight Coyote man advantages.   
    Detroit has won the last six times they've played a game four when trailing in a
playoff series 1-2. However, it was the first time ever in the post-Original Six era where
the Red Wings won such a Gm-4 on home ice.  
    Phoenix played without injured Capt. Shane Doan (right shoulder).  Coyotes CEN
Vernon Fiddler returned to the lineup after missing one game with a facial injury.

                                                                        ###    
   

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