So much for the Phoenix power play being ineffective and the Detroit penalty kill being strong. The Coyotes took a 1-0 series lead in the first playoff game in Phoenix since 2002 with 3 power-play goals.
The Red Wings gave up all three goals to the Coyotes while on the power play and only killed off one of the four penalties. Previously, the Coyotes power play was a weak 14.6% during the regular season but is clicking at 75% in the playoffs--well, the one game played so far. The Detroit PK, which was at about 84%, had a lot of trouble stopping the Coyotes power play unit.
The Wings started the scoring with a shot from Tomas Holmstrom along the boards. The puck must have fluttered on Ilya Bryzgalov because he completely missed it and it found the top corner on the glove side for a 1-0 Detroit lead at 12:17. That lead didn't last long for Detroit as a cross checking call landed Niklas Kronwall in the box and put the Coyotes on the power play. A Keith Yandle shot from the blue-line found its way through to the back of the net, only 10 seconds after the power play started and tied the game at 14:13.
Nicklas Lidstrom added a power play goal late in the period to give the lead at the end of the first period. Lidstrom's shot from the blue line went through Brian Rafalski, Tomas Holmstrom and Ilya Bryzgalov's legs to give the Wings the lead at 16:27. Wojtek Wolski added the second Phoenix power play off a one-timer from Keith Yandle at 6:09 of the second period. The goal was pretty much the turning point in the game as it tied up the score and allowed Phoenix to play their game instead of playing from behind and trying to catch up.
A second penalty to Niklas Kronwall put the Coyotes on their third power play of the game. With only 22 seconds remaining in the penalty, the Coyotes won the draw back to Derek Morris. On the face-off, Darren Helm stumbled and there was no defender out to cover Morris. Morris wound up and slammed home a shot stick side on Jimmy Howard for the ultimate game winning goal.
The Red Wings out-shot the Coyotes 40-35 but the Coyotes started to restrict the Detroit movement with their aggressive forechecking. The best chance to tie it up came with close to a minute to play as a drop pass from Pavel Datsyuk to Todd Bertuzzi hit Bryzgalov but didn't go in.
Analysis and breakdown tomorrow, comment below.
Player of the game: Pavel Datsyuk. Datsyuk was one of only three players (Zetterberg, Howard) that seemed to come to play tonight. Datsyuk had an assist and three shots on goal to go with 2 takeaways (pretty sure he had more than that). He was one of the few guys that wasn't intimidated by the physicality of the play and was making plays to set up scoring chances.