That's the Hank we're used to.
Well that's much better, right?
In the second period, things got insane. Zetterberg scored at 6:27 on a beautiful pass from Valterri Filppula while the Wings were on the power play. Less than a minute later, Wojtek Wolski scored to put Phoenix back on top. 1:20 later, Pavel Datsyuk tapped a puck through a defender's legs past Bryzgalov on a pass from Johan Franzen along the boards. The Coyotes countered 49 seconds later as Matthew Lombardi (who was VERY close to being offsides) streaked past Drew Miller and beat Howard to put the Coyotes back up 3-2. Valtteri Filppula scored about a minute and a half later on a breakaway from a Todd Bertuzzi pass. I'll give Bert some credit right here: he stood in knowing he was going to get hit but made the pass anyway. Filppula's goal tied it up heading into the third.
How about Justin Abdelkader? Gator comes into his first NHL action since being sent down to Grand Rapids and robs Wojtek Wolski of the puck in his own zone and puts the puck past Ilya Bryzgalov on a breakaway to give the Wings the lead. Keith Yandle, you probably should have played defense on that, bud. Gator's 5 hits were second most for a forward (tied with the man of the night, Hank) and he made the absolute most of the 8:27 of ice-time he got. I think at this point, I wouldn't expect Jason Williams to be back in the line-up any time soon. But I digress...
Shane Doan scored for Phoenix to tie it back up (dammit) but Zetterberg's second of the night came off of a great backdoor cut and a cross-ice feed from Todd Bertuzzi. Filppula scored his second of the night on the power play four minutes later as he picked the puck up behind the net and casually walked out before flinging it top corner on a seemingly surprised Bryzgalov. Zetterberg's empty netter sealed the deal and assured curly fries for all.
Most importantly, the penalty kill was back to normal: killing off all four Phoenix power plays. The Red Wings power play was also very effective, scoring 2 of 3 times they had the advantage. The Wings also brought the physical edge last night, out-hitting the Coyotes 38-31 with Brad Stuart registering 7 of those, Niklas Kronwall rocking Nokelainen, and Bertuzzi putting in four hits.
Howard, despite the four given up, played pretty freaking good last night. He robbed two or three sure goals and kept the Wings in it.
Player of the game: Henrik Zetterberg no doubt. Hank went curly and had 6 shots on net, 5 hits, won 10 of 19 face-offs (52.6%) in 17 minutes of ice time. Secondary nod to Fil, third to Gator.
Wings play again Sunday.