Jimmy Howard got Detroit back into the win column after stopping 29 of 31 shots from the Coyotes. Neither team scored a goal with the extra man tonight and the game was pretty fast paced throughout.
Dan Cleary added to his recent scoring success by adding the first goal of the game. Brian Rafalski took a pass from Mike Modano and fired the puck on net from the point. The shot went wide and bounced off the end boards to the opposite side of the net. With Bryzgalov still on the far side of the goal, Cleary had an easy time putting home the empty puck. Cleary made it five straight games with a point and three straight with a goal.
Phoenix got a bit of an offensive rush following a successful penalty kill, registering some great scoring chances. Shortly after that rush, a bit of a scary moment unfolded for Detroit fans as Jimmy Howard went down to the ice after a collision with teammate Ruslan Salei and Coyote forward Lee Stempniak.
In typical fashion of the past year and a half or so, Detroit surrendered a goal with under a minute to play. Martin Hanzal won an offensive zone face-off back to Derek Morris. Morris fired on net (or intentionally missed) and with Howard overplaying the shot it came back through the crease. Hanzal beat a trailing Datsyuk to the puck and put it home for a tied game. Detroit outshot Phoenix 13-9 in the first period.
Keith Yandle gave the Coyotes at 7:31 of the second period on the slowest one-timer you'll ever see. Lauri Korpikoski entered the Detroit zone with the puck but a play on the puck by Pavel Datsyuk made the puck slide over to Yandle. Yandle put it past Howard for a 2-1 lead as the Coyotes capitalized on the broken play. The ice was tilted towards Howard's end in the second period and although the stat sheet only shows a shot total of 13-11 in favor of Phoenix, the Coyotes had far more chances than the Wings did and Detroit was in scramble mode for most of the period.
Nicklas Lidstrom tied the game for Detroit in the third period with a slapshot that beat Bryzgalov to the gloveside. A few good chances for each team throughout the period with perhaps the best chance coming from Phoenix on a shot that hit the crossbar. Detroit had a few chances late in the period but the game went to overtime. Henrik Zetterberg was the overtime hero for Detroit. Ruslan Salei wound up from along the boards for a slapshot that landed on the stick of Zetterberg for a deflection past Bryzgalov for the game-winning goal.
- Detroit outshot the Coyotes 40-31 for the game including 14-9 in the first period. I liked the fast pace offense that the Wings came out with tonight considering there was concern about the travel hangover.
- Justin Abdelkader was a +2 tonight and had 4 shots on goal and 4 hits. The kid has been playing really great lately and I'm looking forward to how he follows up on it.
- I cannot say enough good things about how Dan Cleary is playing lately. He's been great and I wouldn't be surprised if he got top line minutes.
- Johan Franzen had a bit of a disappearing act I thought. He had the screen in front of Bryzgalov on Lidstrom's goal but I felt like he was pretty quiet.
- Following up on that, Tomas Holmstrom looked kind of sluggish out there. Maybe it's time for him to get a day off and with how great Cleary has been playing (even with Zetterberg and Datsyuk)
- Talking with Graham after the game he made a very good point about it being Ruslan Salei's best game as a Red Wings so far. Salei had the assist on the game winning goal and had a good offensive game but even better defensive game.
- Good bounce back game from Jimmy Howard tonight. He overplayed the first goal but he played a pretty solid game. That's a good confidence booster for him tonight and he had some great saves.
- Valtteri Filppula had a great backcheck on a Coyotes rush up ice that negated a potentially crucial scoring chance for the Coyotes. Filppula had a clean theft of the puck carrier and kept the action from getting to Howard.
- Martin Hanzal was dominant in the faceoff circle tonight, winning 14 of 19 faceoffs. The biggest win for him came on the goal he eventually scored as he won the draw against Datsyuk in the Detroit defensive zone. He essentially assisted on his own goal by winning that faceoff.