Hockey Article

Coyotes shut down Red Wings to force Game 7

There’s no quit in these Coyotes. Coming into Joe Louis Arena down 3-2 and on the brink of elimination against a seasoned Detroit team, the Coyotes stood toe to toe with the Wings and came out with a crucial 5-2 win that forced a decisive Game 7 back on their own turf in Glendale on Tuesday night.

Special teams were a big part of the Coyotes’ win on Sunday, as they scored 3 goals with the powerplay and got another shorthanded after failing to score any goals with the man advantage in Game 5. Lauri Korpikoski got the game’s first goal on a great individual effort on the kill, stripping Brad Stuart of the puck in the neutral zone and rushing in on net and beating Howard less than 5 minutes into the game. Veteran defenseman Mathieu Schneider put the Yotes up 2-0 with a slapshot from the point on the powerplay early in the 2nd. Wojtek Wolski>

Brad Stuart answered right away for the Wings, scoring his first goal of the postseason less than 30 seconds after Schneider’s goal. Radim Vrbata put Phoenix back up by two with a powerplay goal of his own, sneaking through the slot and getting a great pass from former Red Wing Robert Lang before popping the water bottle behind Jimmy Howard. Sniper Wojtek Wolski stretched the lead to 3 goals with Phoenix’s only even strength goal of the game, planting himself in front and deflecting Petr Prucha’s shot from the top of the faceoff circle.

In the 3rd, Taylor Pyatt put the game out of reach with Phoenix’s 3rd powerplay goal of the night, and while Darren Helm netted a late one for the Wings, Phoenix never gave the Wings a chance in this one. Ilya Bryzgalov made 31 saves and made sure Detroit never got any traction throughout the game. Game 7 should be quite the tilt, but it will be interesting to see how the pressure affects the young Coyotes. The battle-tested Wings have plenty of experience in big games like this one, but if Phoenix can play the way they did on Sunday, they will have a great chance to knock off one of the most successful playoff teams since the lockout.

Len robinson
Sports Pundit member

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